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scaruso57

Are all kids really OWED a college education?

scaruso57
16 years ago

Hi all. Just my two cents worth. My parents were not pro education. Also, they had five kids. My dad worked two jobs to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. I never felt angry that they did not pay for my education.

I did not start college until my son was 3 months old. I went to school from Fri night to Sunday. My husband at the time, watched our son while I was in class. I worked very hard and received a partial scholarship to the School of the Art intsitute in Chicago. It took a total of 6 years for my to get my BFA. I worked at all sorts of jobs while earning my degree. Also, my 26 year old worked full time and went to school part time to get his degree. I was so proud of him. I hated watching him struggle, but the experience really made him strong. I don't think that kids should just be handed a free ticket for college. I think my SS would NEVER have majored in musical performance if he had to work to PAY for it. He took it all for granted.

I spent years of vacations (summer, spring, x-mas) and I was amazed that he never once picked up his instrument.

I really don't think he took college seriously at all. To be honest, I think college has become a continuation of high school in the US. For alot of kids, all it does is delay maturity. I also this it has resulted in a generation that smacks of entitlement. It's an interesting topic.

Susan

Comments (42)

  • lilysuzanne40
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    It's a good question and you make some interesting points. Unfortunately, the fact is a college education is nearly mandatory these days to obtain a job that will pay enough to buy for "the American dream."

    College graduates earn more far money than high school graduates. Furthermore, today's taxpayers are footing the bill for far less of a percentage of the cost of a college education. College costs are rising steadily, forcing students from all but the poorest or richest households to sink themselves deeply into debt in order to pay for their education.

    For that reason, it is my belief that a parent who believes their obligation is over when their child graduates high school is a parent who is living in the past. That said, I don't think ANY student should have 100 percent of their educational costs paid for by anyone. Struggle is good and necessary and should be encouraged. I cobbled together my college education with part-time and summer jobs, scholarships, grants and a small amount of support from my parents.

    Where do stepfamilies lie in this equation? Another poster pointed out the inequity that can arise when a stepparent believes "their" money shouldn't go toward the education of a stepchild. For instance, if a woman with money marries a man with little money who also has children: When applying for financial aid, the SM's financial resources count with the father's, which could make the child ineligible for financial aid they would otherwise receive. If the SM then refuses to let any of the couple's money go toward a college education, the child is being unfairly penalized for his/her father's marriage.

  • bnicebkind
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I heard this very subject discussed on the radio recently. I was in and out of the car so I heard bits and pieces of the subject, but their point was that if you made a kid work to pay for "part" of college, they would take it far more seriously, and benefit more from the college experience.

    So maybe you are onto something, because they say that there are a lot of young people who are not growing up into "adult men" and "adult women", but instead get older and older, still feeling entitled (and not a bit ashamed to my amazement) to still have "Daddy and Mommy" pay for things they want! They don't even feel any guilt or sense of embarrassment at taking from parents who are themselves financially strapped, and whose earning years are limited. They are like children wanting to act like, and have the privileges of being an adult, without ever actually becoming an adult male or adult female, with all of the responsibility that goes along with it. The people on the radio said that this subject needs to be explored, because they thought instead of "helping" our youth, we are hurting them when we do not help them to become a fully functioning grownup in their own right, and that it will hurt them throughout life if we fail in this important task. And yet, it is so much easier to not watch them struggle so. So I get where the parents are coming from who do this (they like feeling needed and important) but if they do not grow up now....then when? It is sad to see 40 somethings asking their 70 something retired parents to pay for a car (for them or a grandchild) or vacations, isn't it? I thought only young people felt entitled to what their parents earn. Well, some of these "young people" are now in their mid 40's and still asking.

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  • tamar_422
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    NO, children, bio or step, are not OWED a college education.

    Lily makes some very good points about college educations pretty much being mandatory to attain the "American Dream." I have also read a lot in recently that a 4 year degree just isn't going to be good enough soon - everyone will need some sort of graduate degree to get ahead, especially with job competition from foreign immigrants. It used to be parents would tell their kids, "Eat all your dinner. There are kids in China starving for your food." Now they tell their kids, "Study hard, there are kids in China striving for your job.")

    All that being said, I think part of the "American Dream" is a comfortable retirement, not one where you have to count every penny and worry whether you will have enough, or will have to choose between buying groceries or medical prescriptions. Kids coming out of college have an exponentially greater earning power than their parents, who are on the cusp of retirement. Any funds parents use to pay for college educations are not going to be there for their retirement, and in addition to the real loss of principal, the parents also experience the loss of future interest income on that principal.

    If parents can comfortably afford 100% of their children's college expenses, and that's how they choose to spend their money, good for them. However, I do not feel that children are "entitled to" or "owed" a college education from parents who cannot afford it. Another poster said it's the same as a roof over their heads or food. It's not. It's a whole lot more of a family's budget than the necessities of groceries or a home for all.

    My DH has made it clear to all of our children that we will pay 100% of their college expenses, less spending money, which they will have to earn during summer jobs. We can afford to do this, and it means our kids will start out without heavy student loan debt. However, if we couldn't afford it, our kids would have to get through college the same way we did - scholarships, grants, and work, with a small amount of help from parents.

  • annkathryn
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    There are some parents who think their kids can do college on their own and won't contribute a cent, while others are in the pay-100% camp. Today's college expenses are staggering compared to what they were when most of us were considering going off to college. To expect a teenager to take on $20,000-$30,000 PER YEAR in debt or to come up with that amount on his or her own is insane, in my view. And that's for public universities - private liberal arts colleges are twice that amount.

    However, I do think kids should contribute to their college expenses, either by working summers, doing work/study at college, applying for merit scholarships, and possibly taking out small loans to meet the gap in what the family can afford and what financial aid, if any, covers. If a large loan is the only way college can be paid, then a couple years at a community college, or a gap year are also options. No one should be saddled with $100,000 in debt after 4 years of college, in my view. Not parents, and not teenagers/young adults.

    The financial aid business is very complex and somewhat inequitable. There's a very good forum on College Confidential, and some of the topics are very relevant to step-parents. I found a link to the site when it was posted on the household finances forum on gardenweb, so I'm pretty sure it's ok to post it here.

    Ann

    Here is a link that might be useful: College Confidential Financial Aid forum

  • theotherside
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    annkathryn,

    The only trouble with a gap year is that the financial aid computation assumes 50% of the money earned by the child will be available to pay for college. If you are only earning minimum wage or close to it, you can't save up much after you take out taxes, commuting costs, and, in most states, health insurance (since generally you can't be covered under your parents' insurance if you are not in school full-time).

    If you go to a community college, there is often no guarantee that all of your credits will transfer. Even if most of them do, there is almost no merit aid available to transfer students. One of my kids transferred to a state university in her junior year, and although she got into everywhere she applied, and received considerable need-based aid, she did not receive any merit awards - and her GPA was 3.99 (out of 4). She had received a large merit award at the college she attended for the first two years.

    My kids have all worked during the summers, done work-study while in school, and applied for and received a variety of financial aid awards. One of them actually received a need-based award because she was the in-state student with the highest debt load in her senior class, a rather dubious honor.

    My adult children would not have the careers they have now without college. I can't imagine not being pro-education. My father was forced to drop out of high school to support his family (back before the Great Depression) when he had wanted to go to college. I was going to say that although it did not ruin his life, it made it far more difficult - but actually, it did pretty much ruin his life. Although I am sure none of you would suggest your children or SC drop out of high school to support the family, I would not do today's equivalent of that by refusing them a college education.

  • scaruso57
    Original Author
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Hi TOS,
    Believe me, I am not saying that college education is not important. It was painful for me to watch my son struggle and not be able to help as much as I wanted. We did co-sign for loans and I did give him what I could. My last marriage left me bankrupt.

    I do believe, however, that some kids are put on this educational conveyer belt. Grammar school, high school, college, grad school. My SS did not work, except part time for five weeks three summers ago, because I threatened not to let him stay with us without working. He also took five years to complete a music degree at a state school. He refers to this degree as the MacDonald's degree. What a waste of time and money. As far as scholarships. He was too lazy to fill out the paper work. I am being very honest here. It was hard to watch, while my son struggled.

    I think education is important. Of course. Otherwise I would not have worked my tail off to get a design degree.
    I do think that not all kids have the maturity to understand and appreciate why they are in college. Especially when it's ALL paid for due to someone else's sweat.

    Not every child is college material. I think ours is the only country that has this attitude. I know many foreign educated physicians, who tell me that in their country (s) if you work hard and have the proven ability to succeed, you get into professional schools tuition free. If you can't get in--you do something else. You mentioned the trades in another post. What's wrong with becoming a plumber, carpenter, mason worker, electrician? They actually earn very nice livings and we enjoy many ammenities due to their knowlege, skill and labor.

    Just a few thoughts on a important subject.

  • kkny
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    " I know many foreign educated physicians, who tell me that in their country (s) if you work hard and have the proven ability to succeed, you get into professional schools tuition free."

    In this country -- tuition free is not the system.

    Second marriages are complicated. In all fairness, before anyone marries a man with children, I think these questions should be addressed, including the cost and the effect of a new partners income on financial aid.

  • tamar_422
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    TOS, I'm sorry. I don't know why, but I was under the impression that you were supporting all your children 100% through college. From what you've just posted, it looks like they are doing an outstanding job of helping themselves. I have been, and always will be, an advocate of helping those who help themselves. It doesn't sound like your kids have the "entitlement" issues that so many other kids do, and I'm sure that if you just didn't have the money to help them out, they would be able to figure out another way.

    Susan, the Wall Street Journal recently ran a series of articles addressing the fact that not every child is college material, and that to try to force them into a certain mold is only doing them a diservice. DH's niece is the perfect example. She adamently had no interest in college. My SIL strongly encouraged her to go to the state school, which she did for one semester, accruing debt in the form of a student loan. She hated it, and dropped out. We lent her the money to go to cosmetology school, and she now works as a hairdresser, and is very happy. Will she have the same standard of living if she had completed a 4-year degree? Who knows? Who cares? She's happy, and she's employed.

    kkny - first marriages are complicated. In all fairness, before anyone marries a woman with alcoholism and depression disorders in her family history, these questions should be addressed, including the cost and and the effect of having children on to which to pass these problems.

    Yes, that was sarcastic, but in all honesty, I'm kind of getting tired of certain BioMoms pointing out every possible issue that one may encounter in a second marriage as a reason people shouldn't remarry.

  • kkny
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Well, if you are saying that if potential SM results in less opportunity for Step children to attend college, and just to ignore it -- that is possibly the type of response that does result in tension between stepmoms and mothers.

    and even if TOS's children have managed to aid in their college, it appears that she is the only one making a home for them.

    These comments are helpful for me -- when Dad has a GF -- it means I have to step up to the plate to see that DD is taken care of.

  • theotherside
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    "What's wrong with becoming a plumber, carpenter, mason worker, electrician?"

    There is nothing wrong with going into a skilled trade, but just as college is not the right choice for everyone, neither are the trades. If I had to try to support myself in a career that involved using my hands, I would have starved. If you are afraid of heights, not well coordinated, or color blind, many of the skilled trades would also not be good choices.

    Tamar,

    I have contributed far less than 100% toward their college expenses, and my kids have worked very hard as well as taking on a lot of debt. Unfortunately, their father has contributed very little, even though he says he wants them to attend.

  • mom2emall
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I just wanted to say that I think that working to help pay for your own college definately makes you take it more seriously. My parents were not in a position to help me with any college expenses, so I had to fill out financial aid forms, apply for scholarships, and work a full-time job while in college. It made me work much harder in school because I was paying for it and did not want to take out any loans. I went to community college for the first part of my education and worked very close with a transfer advisor to plan my classes so I would only take classes that would transfer to the university I wanted to eventually attend.

    I think that parents should help their kids somewhat with college expenses, but should also make their kids work to pay some tuition. It teaches them responsibility and the value of a dollar, which some young adults don't seem to know! There are also soooo many scholarships out there that anyone can get, but sadly kids do not look for those when the money is coming out of mommy and daddys pockets. While I wish that I would not have had to work so hard during college while many students there seemed to have it so easy, I do think that it made me a better person and made much more responsible and goal orientated. If my parents had paid my way I probably would have partied and not taken it all so seriously.

  • kkny
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I think it depends on the child. My mother paid my way through school, and I took it very seriously. I dont think it is always possible to get scholarships.

  • tamar_422
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    TOS, your ex is an ass. Every single one of us on this board - BioMom, StepMom, BioStepMom - will stipulate to that. Even though you can be unjustly critical of some of the SMs here, I don't think any of us could be critical of the sacrifices you make, both financially and personally, for your children. What rankled me was I mistakenly thought you were making sacrifices for your children while they were doing nothing to help themselves. To me, that would be unacceptable.

    kkny - I am a SM, admittedly a SAHM, whose household income will pay 100% college expenses for my two stepsons. Their lovely mother, who walked away from her marriage with close to $1 million in marital assets, maintenance payments of $4,000, and child support payments of $4,000 (for a combined support check of $8,000 per month), who incidentally continued to receive those maintenance payments until just recently, despite the fact that she has been remarried for over two years, will pay nothing for college. Just like she paid nothing for my younger SS's residential treatment costs. She just doesn't feel that any of this should be HER responsibility. Unfortunately, this has always been her attitude. If it's too hard, she just doesn't want to deal with it. And this is what causes tension between this stepmom and that biomom.

    Tell me, kkny, should I generalize that all BioMoms are like this?

  • mom2emall
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    kkny: I am sure that your parents were glad you took college seriously, since it was their hard-earned money paying for it! The sad fact is that many kids now do not appreciate their parents paying for college, and sometimes putting themselves in a bad financial position to do so. All too often I have seen a college student who parties and blows off classes and almost fails most of their classes. I have also had friends with siblings who are, as I call them, "professional students". They keep going to school and changing their major, while their parents are almost broke!

    When my kids, bio and step, go to college my husband and I are going to help with their tuition. But, they will also have to help pay for their education and take college seriously.

  • vistajpdf
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Every kid is different. Every situation is different. For me, I worked my way entirely through school on an athletic scholarship - still the BEST way to go, JMHO. However, it's not for everyone.

    My skids all had "Bright Futures" scholarships had they attended state schools. They did not want to, so, yes, I felt a little annoyed that despite some very fine universities, they chose to go out of state, giving up scholarships, etc. The girls later earned partial athletic scholarships to their credits. They had to work hard to make decent grades (weren't as naturally gifted as their brother academically, but did just fine.) Their schooling would have been much more affordable had they stayed in FL (in state tuition, I own a rental house at my alma mater), but I did understand that they'd have struggled to make the teams in FL. I really have no beef w/ the girls.

    When the SS transferred from Pitt to a private univ (Univ. of Miami) I was livid. Tuition there was VERY costly, he didn't discuss it w/ us AT ALL (possible DH wasn't being truthful but swears I heard about it when he did), and we continued to sacrifice to keep him happy. He didn't work, apparently in or out of school, and we're in a huge mess because of his poor choices.

    If we get our ins. money soon, my kids will have pre-paid FL college funds, which lock in today's rates assuming the boys attend state schools. We have several fine choices here and I would highly encourage them to stay in FL. I will also help them find a sport in which they can be competitive - if for no other reason than to keep them BUSY during the middle and HS years after school. I don't necessarily want them to be college athletes, though it would be nice. It was a great way to get an education and see the country (lots of pressure, though.) My boys would not be expected to work during the school year if we could afford to avoid that, but they would absolutely be expected to work on summer breaks. No sleeping in til 3:00 as SS was permitted to do. If my boys ever worked for us, they'd have to be the first to arrive and the last to leave - no preferential treatment there.

    I've seen all sides to this thing and the bottom line is that great things can happen if a kid is handed things easily. Great things can happen if a kid has to work his/her way through school. Horrible things can happen if things are made too easy for a student just as they can happen if a kid is overstressed trying to make ends meet and study and go to class. It's just mostly dependent on the student's attitude.

    Being a stepmom of kids who were less than kind to me, it did hurt a little to have to put them through college when their parents didn't save a dime for it (while living large - she never worked, I do.) It's not like they had no means back when the kids were small and afterwards. They just didn't have any college accounts for these kids - then when they all turned down scholarships 'cause they wanted to leave FL, well, that was a tough pill to swallow for me!

    Dana

  • peace_seeker
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I dont know if you guys have heard, but a parent's obligations for children end when said children reach the magic number in your respective states(18/21).

    Now, I am not saying that no parent should ever help any child, or that parents should not help all children equally (as far as that is possible)

    BUT, IMHO, the sense of entitlement that too many children feel contributes to their lack of responsibility and maturity. Speaking from experience, I took education a lot more seriously when I had to sacrifice to get it.

    For example, a child who passed up on a scholarship would not be able to get ANY assistance from me, because that child does not understand the value of education, or of money. Only by paying their own way could they understand what giving up the scholarship meant.

    In this country we have great community colleges that allow people to get a good education without breaking the bank.They can always transfer to a 4 year university later.

  • kkny
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Peace seeker,

    I passed on a scholarship and instead attended an Ivy League School. It was worth every penny, even 25 years later it opens doors. There was not way I could attend without my parents assistance. I attended the school not out of a sense of entitlement, but out of the belief it would be better in the long run.

    I think every child is different, and the time to discuss these issues is before you get married.

  • theotherside
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    kkny,

    I think it is definitely worth it to pass up a scholarship in order to attend an Ivy League school, or any of the schools that fall in the "most difficult" category, like the non-Ivy seven sisters, or Cal Tech. If your qualify for financial aid, it is not necessarily much more expensive. My oldest daughter received a huge academic scholarship to one slightly better than mediocre school, and a nearly equivalent need-based scholarship to an excellent school, which obviously she chose to attend. Most of the Ivy's and near-Ivy's do not offer academic scholarship.

    My kids have attended a variety of types of institutions, for a variety of reasons. One thing I have discovered is that the caliber of the students, and consequently the caliber of the intellectual life there, differs vastly. One of my kids is attending a school where many, if not most, of the students are downright brilliant. I sat in on one class there where the level of engagement exceeded anything I had ever experienced, even in graduate school. Even their casual conversations are intellectually stimulating. I found myself wishing I were back in college.

    On the other hand, some of my kids have attended schools where the students, in general, were not engaged. Even though some of the professors were very good, the education they received out of the classroom was pretty much non-existent, and finding close friends was difficult. My kids would sometimes complain about the lack of dedication of most of their peers, just as they complained in high school.

    I have come to the conclusion, and it has taken me 4 kids in college to do so, that if your children are bright enough to get into a top college, it is worth it to send them if you can possibly do so. So much of their education can occur outside of the classroom.

    An athletic scholarship is out of the question for the vast majority of kids. Even my kids who do not have coordination-related disabilities would never in a million years be able to get one, any more than they would be able to get a seat in a symphony orchestra. It is not just a matter of working hard - you actually have to have talent.

    I went to a top college on a full non-academic scholarship, and I took my education very seriously, graduating summa cum laude. I did not work during the school year, except for tutoring occasionally.

  • bnicebkind
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I want to expand on my comment above regarding this sense of entitlement, when you have young people who believe that you should help them to acquire the things they want. In it, I mentioned that some of the young people with this attitude are no longer young, but 40 somethings now asking their 70 something (now retired) parents to pay for things they want. Many of the 40 somethings who feel entitled to what their parents earned, are not as you would imagine (i.e. the free loader who doesn't work and mooches off relatives and friends, etc) but yuppy type living above their means, and feeling that their parents should pay for their expensive vacations, cars for their children, college for their children, etc). They do not feel guilty or ashamed for having to ask, but instead feel that they are entitled to what their parents worked hard to earn.

    Parents, be careful here, because you may need your savings in your senior years, when you no longer are earning income, but your quality of life may very well be determined by how much you have saved to pay for very expensive medications, care, and may very well determine the quality of long term care or the type of facility you can afford. Because I would seriously wonder whether these same "kids" you helped, will be willing to return the favor one day when you need "their" help, to pay for expensive medications, or the quality of nursing home you may be looking at one day. If they have that sense of entitlement throughout their life, and do not mind asking for you to pay for all these things they want, do you really think one day they are going to wake up, and feel a sense of obligation to now reverse rolls and pay for your needs, such as costly medications, home care, bills you no longer have the income to pay for any longer, etc.....let alone things you "want". All adults during their "earning years" need to look at the long term, big picture.

    I am not saying that you should not help your children as you launch them into adults. I think that if you can afford to help them with college, and you think they are mature enough to take college seriously, and work hard, I think parents should do this for their kids if they can. However, at some point, these kids are now adults and need to become fully self sufficient and actually become a fully functioning adult. Obviously, there are extenuating circumstances, such as lay offs, medical crisis, career changes that result in more education, divorces that severely hurt them financially, etc., where it is the "right thing to do" to help them get back on their feet. But it is the lack of extenuating circumstances, and the general attitude of "entitlement" where these now adult people, believe it is their "right" to have you pay for things they "want", that needs to be examined, and decisions should be made on how you want to handle this issue. Anyway, this is a side sidebar to the college issue.

  • lafevem
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I haven't posted in a while, but there is an excellent article in this month's Family Circle about this issue. The financial expert clearly says parents should not take money out of their savings to pay for children's college. He said there are grants, aids, scholarships and kids have 40 years of future employment to pay off these debts. As older adults nearing retirement age, most parents won't have that luxury. Just wanted to tell you what the Family Circle Financial advisor had to say on the subject.

  • scaruso57
    Original Author
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    BNICEBKIND: I agree with what you are saying 100%. I know alot of people in our generation, who give, give and give some more to their kids. Most of these parents cannot afford to do so, and end up in financial difficulty themselves. It's a good question for a socialogist. What makes people in our genertion do this? Is it guilt? Is is that we want to make our kids lives easier than ours? I don't know.

  • theotherside
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I don't actually know any adults personally who ask their parents for money, though a know a lot of people who support their elderly parents. My adult kids have refused my offer to pay for things that parents usually do pay for, and have offered to give me money on numerous occasions.

    It is virtually impossible for most undergraduates to get loans in their own name, unless they have been working full-time for at least a couple of years and are going to continue to work full-time while in college. They may be able to get loans for which the parents have to cosign, but these are usually at a higher interest rate and with less favorable terms than Parent Plus loans, plus you, as a parent, can't take the interest off your taxes. Also, the student loans require that the cosigner have a certain debt/income ratio and sufficient income to pay the loan back. You might as well just take out the Parent Plus loan.

  • Vivian Kaufman
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    One option I fail to see mentioned is military service. I don't know the specifics, but I do know that you can get a portion of your college education paid for in exchange for military service. Perhaps someone who has been down this road can enlighten us.

    (I really need to find out as I have a boy who is interested in pursuing this.)

  • vistajpdf
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    The GI bill scares me w/ this war, etc, going on. YSD's bf did two tours and now has tuition paid, plus $1100/mo. if I'm not mistaken.

    My skids did not turn down their scholarships for an Ivy League or close to it type of school. I could see not wanting to pass that up. I was accepted at John's Hopkins for Dental School, but really couldn't justify the HUGE difference in money - knew I wanted to practice in FL and knew the FL board was much easier if you've attended their dental school (know all the equipment, which can vary greatly, know patients - have them lined up, etc.)

    My skids turned down FL state schools to attend state schools elsewhere. Does that make a lot of sense to anyone? Their attitudes were largely swayed by their former elem and middle prep school. People had so much wealth that normal things were looked down upon. After their parent's divorce, the kids switched schools, but could take the kid out of the snobby school but couldn't take the snob out of the kid. SS was VERY angry that he couldn't graduate from his former school. His attitude was not good at the parochial he transferred to. DH tried to allow him to stay where he was, but BM refused - social issues, rumors about her seemed to dictate. Anyway, even if I had the $, my kids wouldn't be at that school.

    UF is now labeled "Harvard Southern" lol by most educators in that it is VERY difficult to get in. SATs must be great, over a 4.0 GPA, 500+ comm. svc. hours, and lots of extras might get you a look. I'm not sure if my SDs would have gotten in, but SS would have.

    However, w/ the girls wanting to play their respective sports, I did understand from where they were coming.

    Dana

  • kkny
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Dana,

    Working as a dentist, it may not be important where you went to school. In the corporate/finance world it is. I am glad you are doing well, but the route for many is different.

  • vistajpdf
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    KK: So true. Our family physician has been a friend of my father's since childhood. He is the private MD to a Saudi prince (not sure if the prince knows George is Jewish!) Anyway, once you have the title of "Dr." before your name, rarely are you asked from where you got your Bachelor/ doctorate degrees. George never got a Bachelor's - did that three year thing in pharmacy then straight to Med. School, entered a Mexican Med School, came back to the US and passed the board. Once you pass the board, people don't usually ask.

    I once treated a patient, an MD, who got his degree from Columbia, for DH (who is an Ivy grad for both degrees). I inquired as to how the Dr's DD was doing, a then-sr. in HS. He said, "She's looking at Columbia, Brown, Princeton and a few other Ivy's..." I said, "Oh, impressive. Good for her!" He replied, "Well, there really aren't any other schools to consider." I wanted to ask if I should stop my procedure til DH was back so that my tainted state-schooled hands wouldn't tarnish his mouth, lol.

    Anyway, the DD ended up goint to Notre Dame for a year, hated it, then graduated from a, gasp, state school here in FL. She is now happy, a meteorologist, and living in the Keys.

    BTW, their other DD is a Down's Syndrome child - now about 20 and just a love to be around. He didn't take the news well, actually was of no comfort to his dear wife for awhile after the girl's birth, but has long since come around. Just an attitude w/ him, I guess, about appearances, anything less than perfect being unacceptable, etc. We go to games to them from time to time and I've grown to not be offended by him anymore. His wife is truly one of the loveliest women I've had the pleasure of meeting and he is growing on me, a team Dr. for the pro teams here.

    Dana

  • theotherside
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I, for one, do care what medical school, dental school, and veterinary school my doctors, dentists and vets have attended, and your chances of getting accepted to a good medical, etc. school are increased if you have attended and done well at a good college.

  • lafevem
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Dana...I agree about UF. My mom has worked for a dentist for about 12 years who graduated from you UF. He is seen as one of the premier dentists in the area, and he LOVES to get associates from UF (a state school) because he says they are the best trained dentists he comes across. BTW..he is an FSU fan, but attended UF dental school because of the excellent training. Teaching is another field where what college you attend means little. Once you have your license...everybody makes the same money. And, here in Florida, there are so many jobs, they even hire people who have degrees in other fields. They don't have enough bodies to fill the classrooms.

  • vistajpdf
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Thanks, lafevem. UF has an excellent reputation these days. The dental school is not easy, but no professional school is, I suppose. We used to have the only school in the state til Nova Southeastern opened up recently during a time when many dental schools were closing. So far, they are doing well though I'm not impressed w/ the graduates thus far. Couldn't say about their work, but their work ethic, or the one I encountered, was terrible! She was to cover for me on maternity leave for baby boy #2 - came in the day I had him, left at lunch, never returned. I don't think she was at all ready for private practice and my schedule had been watered down for her! So, I had my son on a Monday and was working that Friday....ugh! I finished up the cases I had planned for her to see then took more time off - it was tough, but the fact that we lived downstairs saved me as I could nurse the baby inbetween patients, wait for patients to get numb while in my 'living room' (we were awaiting the dream house's contstruction to COMMENCE back then - had demo'd the house, but nothing started!)

    TOS: When we were all applying to dental schools, the counselors advised us to apply to the Ivy League schools and other reputable schools as the tuition is SO high, most of the best qualified applicants choose to not incur well over 6 figures in debt, possibly in addition to undergrad. debt, and will choose the state schools. I'm not sure that it is public knowledge, but I know I was accepted, even w/o interviewing to a few 'prestigious' institutions - though I did score perfectly on 1/2 of the DAT (dental admissions test) and nearly perfect on the other 1/2 (not bragging, the Kaplan course was amazing for that test). My undergrad grades were good, but not excellent - maybe a 3.6 cum. GPA, but add 4 years of a varsity sport in which I won the SEC numerous times, and schools were impressed to have someone w/ a broad spectrum of interests and talents, I guess.

    D

  • Vivian Kaufman
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I've spent 20+ years working in private practice for MDs and hospitals in regular daily contact with the public and I have yet to have ONE person ask me where a particular doctor went to medical school or did specialty training. Once you're licensed, board certified, etc. it is my opinion that no one really cares.

  • cawfecup
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    This was an interesting post to read ... was thinking about this with my SD 18 ... She only passed sophomore and junior years of HS by going to summer school. Barely graduated one C the rest D's senior year. So now she wants to go to college ... was going to take a year off now she wants to go. So she is applying at a few colleges ... I said why not community college only $3000 a sememester (books and tuition) compared who knows what.... So she applied for financial aid was given a little over half now she needs to make up the difference... she is demanding her father pay for the books ... and the rest. All this while applying for every credit card available. He told her "use your credit cards or apply for a student loan".

    I think everyone needs some sort of formal education to get by in this world. But I think they need to earn it themselves by either earning the grades to prove themselves. Or by getting scholarships etc. If some help is needed fine ... but not the whole package.

    My DD earned her education SD just floated by ... who deserves it more? DD wanted college education earned it in HS. SD wants her handed to her.

  • theotherside
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I have been asked where a doctor went to medical school quite a few times. The only thing people seem to be concerned about even more than that is whether they have been disciplined or lost malpractice suits. I doubt if my state would bother to have the Physician Referral website if our state residents didn't frequently seek this information. There is not much other information on the site that you can't get from the telephone book.

  • Vivian Kaufman
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Yep, we have a physician referral service, too.

    Still, 20+ years, not one inquiry from a patient or a potential patient about where they went to school--and I see patients all day every day.

  • kkny
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I see a lot of valid points about funding college, which is a difficult exercise. But what I also see is some SMs going on about how my children are deserving, but not the stepchildren. I can not imagine a mother saying oh little Johnnie is deserving, but not Suzi. Maybe discussions about appropriate collegs, etc., but not at the same level as what I read here. This may be just the only place to rant, but it does concern me, that Xs GF, or a future SM, puts on one fact to Dad, as loving SM, but quite understandably does favor her own children.

  • cawfecup
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Not sure if this was intended for me but I am taking as if it were....

    SD is taking "general studies" ... DD is in her 4th of a degree in mechanical engineering... full scholarship. She also works full-time and a part time job on weekends. Pays all her own bills and has her own apartment.

    I don't favor my kid when it comes to an education DD worked for hers winning full scholarships... SD wants it handed to her. You would pay $50,000 a year for a D student? who accepts a D student in a college with $50,000 in tuition payments?

    Oh thats right .... your ex is paying for college no food off your plate.

  • kkny
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    In any family with more than one child, it is likely that one child acheives more than another. And the parents recognize it, but do not blatently put one child down.

    And if you want to throw sticks at me, yes I work full time, all year round, to provide home for DD. I do contribute.

  • vistajpdf
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I have to agree that some kids are self-motivated, study hard, forego the partying scenes while others want to hang out, put off assignments, and party their lives away making poor choices, etc. I don't think it's the skid vs. biokid issue as much as it is a child by child situation.

    Many families do see both sides of the coin - some kids excel and others fall into the 'feel good' group. I see no problem in not bending over backwards to help those who won't help themselves, regardless of the genetic lines.

    Cawfe, I can't believe your SD now is singing this new song and dance routine. Sounds like some friends are going to college and she doesn't want to miss out. Insist on the CC (her grades won't leave many other doors open for her, I'm sure) and if she proves herself, great and you all can help out later! If not, then, her options will be decided for her.

    Dana

  • orangetree
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    It's wonderful to have a college education, but nope, kids are not owed that college education. They have to earn the priviledge with good grades and hard work.

    Bio parents have the option of paying if they want to and not paying if they don't want to. They can choose how much support they want to give. I think this should apply to step parents as well.

  • kkny
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I dont see any easy answers. Yes, when mom and dad are married, they both have to agree; but once they are divorced, the courts and the law get involved in decisions affecting children, including college and child support. The law is tht children are supposed to live a certain life style, which is why CS is not geared to a minimum. Not to sound like a broken record, I think these things have to be discussed before any marriage to someone wiht children.

  • orangetree
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    kkny - I agree that these things should be discussed beforehand. Too many people jump into remarriage without sorting out the details, and expensive tuition payments are one HUGE detail.

    Before I married DH, we talked about tuition and all expenses associated with his children. I do not mind contributing to his daughter's braces, education or enhanced lifestyle, and I know that my feelings stem from the fact that I had a choice in the matter.

    Not sure about CS... I think it varies depending on location, but where I am, the lifestyle of the children (and thus support) is based only on the income of the paying parent and not on household income. But there again, I knew how much CS he was paying before I married him; I knew he was planning to increase CS on a yearly basis (he is now paying much more than the order stipulates, there is no way his ex would want to involve the law -- she'll end up oweing him a lot), and again, because we discussed it beforehand, I felt like I had a choice.

  • cawfecup
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Yes she singing a different tune ... reality hit when her father told her she either had to find a full-time job or go to school ... she chose school. She realized most of her friends are going to college. She did enroll in CC... the grandmother has a college fund for her but also told her she wouldn't "waste" it on a "D students" education.

    SD was told there are 9 other grandchildren if she didn't use the money for college one or more of the others would benefit from it. So if she wants to use the trust fund money she has to prove that she wants to be in school by getting decent grades and attendance. After she does 2 years at CC if she is doing well grandmother will fund further education.

  • bnicebkind
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Sounds like a very wise grandmother, who has her backbone right where it needs to be, and one worthy of respect.

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