Forum Rules (Everyone Must Read!!!) (updated: 04/28/2015)

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Stupid question, but I just have to ask

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  • Stupid question, but I just have to ask

    I went to the big "flagship" university for my undergraduate degree (engineering), and then an assistantship for my graduate degree, which along with a big scholarship on the front end (i.e., that made for the tuition right there) and a lot of nickel & dime scholarships later on for being a good scholar (3.9 GPA in engineering will do that), allowed me to attend school for free. I even made net spending money (i.e., after room & board) for the undergraduate years. Throw in a new car as a graduation gift from my parents (a very good gift to give a child who finishes school, I think, BTW), and I was in a very good financial position starting out on life, being able to sock away cash into the 401K (that survived my BK, LOL), buy a home at age 24. I can't fathom how someone struggling with student loan and automobile debt, making the low wages that employers now pay can make it with much to spare.

    I am wondering if folks here with student debt that had attended private universities instead of their local state U wish that they could go back in time and make the choice to go to that state U. Or do they think that the experience they got at the private university was so much better than they could have expected at state U, that it was worth the extra money.

    I don't know - I guess I'd like to get some insight as to why folks would want to spend an extra $50-100K for the private university degree. Is it that they figured that going to the private university would amortize out to that much better of a job at the end vs. state U? (Obviously, this would be like a futures contract that went horribly wrong.) I know that some universities are so competitive, like the Ivy League, Stanford, MIT, etc., that potential employers figure that someone who just got in and made decent grades there must have a high IQ and inner drive, etc., that legally can't be tested (i.e., the Griggs v Duke Power court case), so theoretically the high price for matriculating at such a school has some objective merit. But there are a lot of lesser, expensive private universities that are not any more competitive than the typical flagship state U, so it would not make sense for that case.

    Is it that the private university offered the perfect major that none of the state universities offered, and it was considered that important to get into that perfect program rather than something somewhat similar at state U?

    Do you think that the private universities just seemed to me more personal and do a better job at marketing? I know that when I was considering the school to attend (which really wasn't much of a choice as I pretty much already figured on attending my flagship state U quite early on - although I considered the local state U for cost reasons, as I would have saved on room), I was bombarded by private universities (scoring 99.9% on the ACT will do that), but short of a complete scholarship to an Ivy or MIT, I was set on state U (and I really didn't even feel like trying since I figured that full ride scholarships to those places go to the truly divine applicants.) I remember a few high school classmates that did go to some of the smaller private universities, but I just could not understand why they wanted to pay that much more.
    Last edited by joshuagraham; 09-12-2012, 06:17 PM.

  • #2
    Here's 2 cents worth from someone that has graduated from the school of life that doesn't issue paper degrees.

    There are pros and cons to private v state schools.

    I have paid for all of my kids to graduate with college degrees. 2 graduated from less than "name brand" schools, 2 graduated from big "name brand" schools.

    All are doing well at this time. 2 of them are making 100K+ per year. One went to name brand, one went to generic. The other 2 (younger ones) are doing well as well.

    The name brand schooling for 2 of them has helped with their careers.

    The generic brand schooling has not hindered the other two.

    I'm broke, you're confused.............................. lol
    All information contained in this post is for informational and amusement purposes only.
    Bankruptcy is a process, not an event.......


    • #3
      If I could go back, I would have done community college for two years, then gone to the state school associated with the community college. I got into a private school, and had enough scholarships and loans that I only had $500 a year to pay out of pocket.

      At 17 I had no idea what to do with my life, and I didn't have parents to help out. Going to a CC would have given me a little more time to decide, without the 17k in loans. (for two years).


      • #4
        I went to Community College and then to a state college.
        Frankly, I even realized it while doing it- it was a CRAP education.
        Maybe it's gotten better in the past couple of decades, but I really wish I had chosen a different path.

        Keep On Smilin'


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