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The College Thread (and beyond)

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@RegularGuyGamer like anything it depends on your situation and what options you may have. The lure of an Ivy League education can be very tempting, especially if you qualify for financial aid. In which case the opportunities can outweigh the cost.

When I was choosing a law school, I could have come back to CT to attend UConn Law and qualified for the resident’s discounted tuition and walked out of law school virtually debt-free. But I would have had a degree that didn’t have much value outside my home state in a saturated job market. Or I could attend NYU Law and rack up way more debt, but have a degree with nation-wide currency.

Also, never underestimate the drive that some people really want to get as far away from where they grew up as possible.

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9 hours ago, 0xDEAFC0DE said:

Sometimes there's an even cheaper option than buying online. I had a couple classes that put the textbook on reserve in our library (meaning you can borrow it for a couple hours but can't check it out). It's not particularly convenient, but for most of these classes I just needed the textbook for homework problems. So, I would do what I could while in the library, and take a picture of what I couldn't finish in time. 

Interesting that you and Tulpa had this option. None of our textbooks were in our school library.

8 hours ago, TDIRunner said:

Unless of course, the rental fee is less then the difference between the purchase price and resale price.  I rented all of my books when I was in college and saved a ton of money.  

 

Edit for clarification:  I attended a university that allowed you to rent books for free.  That is another thing to think about when looking at schools.  Some are a better value than others.  I attended an excellent, highly rated university, which also happened to be one of the cheapest 4 year universities in my state.  This is one of the reasons why I was able to get a degree without the burden of student loans.  I had to work my ass off to pay for it, but it was still doable.  I know a lot of people with a degree that is no more valuable than mine, but spent 4 times as much money.  If you can afford it, there is nothing wrong with going to an expensive school.  But if you have to take out massive loans just to go to a cool/popular university, consider finding something more affordable.  

Iirc there was only 1 time where it was worth it to rent it. Most times the rent was like 10% less than buying the book, so it was worth it to actually buy it, sell it back and get like 75% back. 

8 hours ago, Tulpa said:

Textbooks are a scam, but there are even better ways of getting ahold of the material. Try the library. They often have a reserve department. Two hour loans, which is enough to scan/take photos of the relevant stuff for the week. Heck, do what the students at the college near me did and talk to the student government to address this. They got a copy of every textbook put in the library. 

If they don't, check to see if there is an affordable learning department and ask them what the options are. Many professors (especially now in this virtual learning environment that's being imposed) may be adopting Open Education Resources. Or are doing things like RedShelf that provide a lower cost ebook.

There are options if you're proactive enough. You're an adult now when you enter college. Time to take charge of things in your life and make a change for the better. I wish someone pounded that into me when I was a freshman.

 

My online master's program had all open resource stuff and no textbooks. I hope that's the way of the future. The textbook scam seems to mainly be an issue at physical colleges. 

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@Scrobins touched upon a good point that may apply to many fields.  

A friend of mine in my class was the top student.  Had the best designs.  His portfolio was amazing.  After graduating, he started to apply to the best firms in NYC.  At an interview, the principal said to him, that his work blows all the other candidates out of the water, but that his college name was holding him back.  It was not an ivy league name.  They only hire ivy league graduates.  He knew where he wanted end up career wise, at a famous architecture firm doing cutting edge design.  After the interview he went to graduate school at Columbia.  It worked out for him the end, he ended up where he wanted.

I thought the idea of an Ivy league degree being required for certain doors was a myth up until that point.  

I didn't take that path, I equally ended up fine, I just had different goals.  If my goals were the same as his, I would have evaluated my current standing differently.  

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10 minutes ago, Makar said:

Interesting that you and Tulpa had this option. None of our textbooks were in our school library.

It's definitely a "it depends on your school" situation.

But before 2008, the local university didn't have that. The students are the ones who stepped up and made it happen.

For the record, my alma mater college isn't the one that's local to me. And I had to pay out the nose for textbooks back when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Yeah, I'm old. 😛

10 minutes ago, Makar said:

My online master's program had all open resource stuff and no textbooks. I hope that's the way of the future. The textbook scam seems to mainly be an issue at physical colleges. 

Seems to be. Or at least more options. Some things may take longer, but the virus situation may force everyone's hands. Especially around here, where every single college is going virtual for classes.

Edited by Tulpa

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1 hour ago, Tulpa said:

It's definitely a "it depends on your school" situation.

But before 2008, the local university didn't have that. The students are the ones who stepped up and made it happen.

For the record, my alma mater college isn't the one that's local to me. And I had to pay out the nose for textbooks back when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Yeah, I'm old. 😛

Seems to be. Or at least more options. Some things may take longer, but the virus situation may force everyone's hands. Especially around here, where every single college is going virtual for classes.

Yet the cost is the same as going to a physical college (minus room and board of course), which is ridiculous. People should be rioting in the streets that online class prices are still the same as in person. 

My undergrad in person vs grad school online experiences were polar opposites. Undergrad the professors actually cared for the most part, engaged the class with discussions, and answered questions. Grad school online was, here's an assignment, do it, then I'll grade it and sometimes give feedback. I'll never forget the time I asked a question to my professor online and they said "ask your classmates".

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28 minutes ago, Makar said:

Yet the cost is the same as going to a physical college (minus room and board of course), which is ridiculous. People should be rioting in the streets that online class prices are still the same as in person. 

My undergrad in person vs grad school online experiences were polar opposites. Undergrad the professors actually cared for the most part, engaged the class with discussions, and answered questions. Grad school online was, here's an assignment, do it, then I'll grade it and sometimes give feedback. I'll never forget the time I asked a question to my professor online and they said "ask your classmates".

Yeah, I've heard mixed feelings about online courses from students, but unfortunately, they've been part of colleges for around a decade or so. I can't see a lot of people speaking out at this point, especially since COVID has them going, "Am I going to be able to take classes and graduate at all?"

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2 minutes ago, Tulpa said:

Yeah, I've heard mixed feelings about online courses from students, but unfortunately, they've been part of colleges for around a decade or so. I can't see a lot of people speaking out at this point, especially since COVID has them going, "Am I going to be able to take classes and graduate at all?"

It was super convenient to take them online. It was just a very different experience, and there's a lot that can be improved upon with online classes. 

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The only draw I could think of going out of state would be if you're one of those super geniuses with at or near perfect ACT/SAT score and graduating at or near top of class with a bunch of AP's (until a few years ago we had a really super prestigious Commonwealth HS diploma...which was even harder to get than an honors diploma!) and actually have a semi-realistic shot into getting into one of the Ivys or one of the other really prestigious best of the best of the best schools.  For most of the rest of us mere mortals, yeah I think in-state public should more than suffice and chances are your state does have at least one or two that does have strong brand recognition.  You know how I said I wanted the best earlier?  That'd be true no matter what state I was in, if I was born and raised in North Carolina, I wouldn't want to settle for some UNC-Asheville or UNC-Charlotte or UNC-Greensboro or some BS like that 😛  I'd want to go to the North Carolina in Chapel Hill!  I do remember our prom king and 3x cross country state champ got to go to North Carolina State...which IIRC is pretty much just as prestigious academically and as for the third side of the famous "research triangle", as much as we at UK can't stand their basketball team and how Christian Latiner stomped on our player's chest without so much as a technical...Duke is in fact the Harvard of the South.  And I honestly think Coach K is a good guy.

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On 6/29/2020 at 7:02 PM, Deadeye said:

@Scrobins touched upon a good point that may apply to many fields.  

A friend of mine in my class was the top student.  Had the best designs.  His portfolio was amazing.  After graduating, he started to apply to the best firms in NYC.  At an interview, the principal said to him, that his work blows all the other candidates out of the water, but that his college name was holding him back.  It was not an ivy league name.  They only hire ivy league graduates.  He knew where he wanted end up career wise, at a famous architecture firm doing cutting edge design.  After the interview he went to graduate school at Columbia.  It worked out for him the end, he ended up where he wanted.

I thought the idea of an Ivy league degree being required for certain doors was a myth up until that point.  

I didn't take that path, I equally ended up fine, I just had different goals.  If my goals were the same as his, I would have evaluated my current standing differently.  

If I had even half a chance of going to one of the Ivys, especially the "Big Three" (HYP) I wouldn't miss it for the world!  But I am NOT wearing one of those dorky sweater vests!!! 😛   That's kewl he went to Columbia, their most famous alumnus being the Pride of the Yankees 🙂 

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

Edited by Estil

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On 6/29/2020 at 6:38 PM, CasualCart said:

I went as far as moving to Canada to attend my college of choice, and it took me two tries just to get accepted into the animation program since my admissions portfolio didn't score high enough for their cutoff the first time around.

They don't know talent when they see it 😁

Edited by ChickenTendas
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