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Old 03-23-2011, 08:11 PM   #781
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Thank you all for your stories.

My personal feeling (and yes I am only 17 but I am almost to college where my life becomes mine and I will have to make a lot of adult decisions) is that it should be the student's choice in the end because they will be the one with the loans. At 18, your first major major decision in life is where you will go to school and apart of that is deciding how much you are willing to pay. At 18 you are about to go out into the world and I think you should be able to decide if you are going to take out loans or not. Part of going of to college is being mature and if you are mature your able to evaluate your future and see if the loans are right or not.

Honestly, I was getting the feeling on here that a lot of parents were telling their kids that they could not take out loans and I did not like that.
Part of becoming mature and being an adult includes listening and learning from others who have been there and have faced and dealt with life's challenges. The parents here know what it is like to be saddled with debt of some kind - whether it be car loans, mortgages, home equity loans, credit cards, medical bills and many combinations of these. We also know that life doesn't always go as planned. There are always unexpected expenses that come up and if our kids can have one less expense to worry about paying, it will take some stress off of them during those times.

You are free to do what you and your family wishes. We are just trying to give you the perspective and experience of people who have been through it.
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Old 03-23-2011, 08:20 PM   #782
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disneylovin24 -- The problem is an 18-year-old is "about to go out in the world." They're not there yet, and a lot of them are pretty doggone clueless about just how much money it takes to maintain a household and save for the future. Clarabelle, MrsPete, disneykat and I are a lot older than you, and with experience comes at least some degree of knowledge and even wisdom. I wouldn't prohibit my sons from getting loans, but that's not what I'd advise them to do.

disneylovin24 -- When you talk about colleges, you talk about size, campus location, availability of boys, etc., but not your major, what kind of job prospects you would have, etc. I hope that's just because it hasn't come up here or I've missed those posts. If you are seriously planning to get a substantial amount of loans, then IMO you have to major in something practical and infinitely marketable.

Sometimes loans are necessary, but it's a big mistake to be cavalier about them.

Affordability is not the only aspect in choosing a college, but it's an important one. One of my sons was a National Merit Scholar, which meant he got a lot of scholarship offers. Problem was none of them were from schools that fit what he needed or they were clearly inferior. So he turned down free rides with our blessing. He was interested in a prestigious private school, but it would have cost about three times as much as we had for his expenses. He made the wise decision to go to an excellent state university.

I graduated from college with no debt. I got a job in my field in a wonderful, wonderful place to live, but it was an expensive town and the pay was lousy. I can't imagine how I would have made loan payments without getting a second job. I had no emergency fund -- a kind dentist let me make payments on a root canal and crown for a YEAR! I also had a nice car bought by my parents. And the job market was a lot better then than it is now.
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Old 03-23-2011, 08:55 PM   #783
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Originally Posted by disneylovin24 View Post
Thank you all for your stories.

My personal feeling (and yes I am only 17 but I am almost to college where my life becomes mine and I will have to make a lot of adult decisions) is that it should be the student's choice in the end because they will be the one with the loans. At 18, your first major major decision in life is where you will go to school and apart of that is deciding how much you are willing to pay. At 18 you are about to go out into the world and I think you should be able to decide if you are going to take out loans or not. Part of going of to college is being mature and if you are mature your able to evaluate your future and see if the loans are right or not.

Honestly, I was getting the feeling on here that a lot of parents were telling their kids that they could not take out loans and I did not like that.
DL24: the difference is we've all BEEN 17... like I tell my son I wasn't BORN old. I WAS you. We all remember being your age and most of us wish we knew then what we know now.

My only advice is the one my Dad gave me... keep on living. You will be doing what we do to your kids one day, too... and hoping they don't make the mistakes we made, but they will, because they HAVE to, or they won't learn enough to teach THEIR kids.

I amazed at what some people call "adult", I was a BABY even at 20 when I graduated from college. Like the PP said, I had to LEARN how to listen, LEARN how to live, LEARN how to survive as an adult. Now I don't consider 30 year olds adult because they STILL need to LEARN.

Life is a process. It takes time. Parents want to protect their kids from mistakes and the best thing we can do is let them fly without our wings. It's the hardest thing we do.
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Old 03-23-2011, 08:56 PM   #784
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disneylovin24 -- When you talk about colleges, you talk about size, campus location, availability of boys, etc., but not your major, what kind of job prospects you would have, etc. I hope that's just because it hasn't come up here or I've missed those posts. If you are seriously planning to get a substantial amount of loans, then IMO you have to major in something practical and infinitely marketable.
.
I have discussed what I want to major in on here. Believe me, job placement is VERY important to me in choosing a college. I hated Northeastern''s size and location but kept it an option at first because of how good it was at finding jobs fo students. Now of course it is back off of the list because I know because of the other things I would be unhappy there. The only reason I do not want to go to a all girls college is because I know how girls can be and do not want to surround myself with them, it has nothing to do with boys being available.

I want to major in political science (liberal arts degree) but want to work all of my years at school on the school newspaper. My dream job is a sports journalist and I have been advised that I would be better off getting a liberal arts degree since you can do more with that then a communications degree but still work on the newspaper since many journalists out there today did this. I am currently in contact with my cousin's friend that majored in history but is now working as a sports journalist because he always worked on his school's paper. I am realistic though and if I do not get a job in journalism soon after school I would then try for politics but if that doesn't work I would just want something liberal arts that is a job and where I can make money. The other thing for me is nowhere in my future do I see graduate school, so I do not believe I will ever have to pay for that too. Nothing that I want to do involves going to graduate school.

I have a few family members who have had to take out LARGE loans to go to school. I have been able to see first hand with them and their friends what paying off the loans are like. Do they like the payments every month? No way. But, every single one of them says that they would not advise against loans for me because in the end they do believe that going to the more expensive school they did help them to get a job and get to where they are work wise. Now, I do know that you can come out and get a great job and go places no matter what school you go to but at the same time of course you are going to have a few pluses if you go to Harvard over someone that went to a state school. When I tell people my top choice they always say "wow what a great school, that would be a great degree to have!". I know that chances are I will have to take out loans to go there and I still have a year to decide all that but I would be willing to take out the loans because 1) its where I want to go and its where I will be happy and 2) because it is an excellent education and degree.

And let me stress again, I know that you can get an excellent degree from a lot of less expensive schools and all but there are still some schools out there that will do more for you then others.
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Old 03-23-2011, 09:24 PM   #785
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disneylovin24 -- it would be hard to pick a worse field for racking up debt. I know a lot of unemployed journalists. I have a degree in journalism (plus a double major in a social science) from what is generally considered one of the top five schools in the field. I've had an okay career, but my 27-year-old makes more $ than I have ever made.

My DH works at a major American newspaper which has cut over half its newsroom staff (includes sports, of course) in the past two years. He was a star editor who has had a Harvard fellowship and co-authored a book, and he has been cut to part-time.

My brother-in-law worked in sports for years. He has been information director for an NCAA athletic conference, worked in sports information at a couple colleges and been athletic director at a college. He's been unemployed almost a year.

Even if you get a job, it is hard to describe just how bad the pay is in this field. You don't start with a good job -- you take something to get you in the door, then move every couple years at the beginning. No one in his/her right mind would do this for anything other than passion. One of the things being done now is downgrading salaries to about half what they were two years ago and offering contract work instead of real jobs. I can't imagine how anyone would pay significant loans.

I'm glad your friends are able to pay their loans and hope you will, too. Just be really careful. I hope the person who advised you to get a liberal arts degree has been hiring for a while... If you're set on doing this, I would advise you (and I did used to advise college students who wanted to go into journalism) to consider a double major in Spanish. Being bilingual is one of the surest ways to job security if you're not going into a medical field, computer science, engineering, etc. (that is, fields that are still hiring).
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Old 03-23-2011, 09:40 PM   #786
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One point I was trying to make disneylovin24 is that substantial loans limit your options, especially in a low-paying field that's all about paying your dues and getting experience at the beginning. If you have a big loan payment, you would not be able to take the $18,000 a year entry sports journalism job b/c you couldn't afford it.

I'm not trying to be negative -- just encouraging you to look at all sides before leaping into something that may limit your life choices.
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Old 03-24-2011, 05:24 AM   #787
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disneylovin24 -- it would be hard to pick a worse field for racking up debt. I know a lot of unemployed journalists. I have a degree in journalism (plus a double major in a social science) from what is generally considered one of the top five schools in the field. I've had an okay career, but my 27-year-old makes more $ than I have ever made.

My DH works at a major American newspaper which has cut over half its newsroom staff (includes sports, of course) in the past two years. He was a star editor who has had a Harvard fellowship and co-authored a book, and he has been cut to part-time.

My brother-in-law worked in sports for years. He has been information director for an NCAA athletic conference, worked in sports information at a couple colleges and been athletic director at a college. He's been unemployed almost a year.

Even if you get a job, it is hard to describe just how bad the pay is in this field. You don't start with a good job -- you take something to get you in the door, then move every couple years at the beginning. No one in his/her right mind would do this for anything other than passion. One of the things being done now is downgrading salaries to about half what they were two years ago and offering contract work instead of real jobs. I can't imagine how anyone would pay significant loans.

I'm glad your friends are able to pay their loans and hope you will, too. Just be really careful. I hope the person who advised you to get a liberal arts degree has been hiring for a while... If you're set on doing this, I would advise you (and I did used to advise college students who wanted to go into journalism) to consider a double major in Spanish. Being bilingual is one of the surest ways to job security if you're not going into a medical field, computer science, engineering, etc. (that is, fields that are still hiring).
And this is why I am not majoring in a communications or journalism. I know that it is a low paying major and not practica in the sense that it does not offer teh wide variety of jobs as a business or liberal arts degree does. My dream is to be a sports reporter and at 17 I am not ready to give that up yet because I eat, sleep, and breathe sports but at the same time I do see that it might be an unpractical dream. I'll give it a try but if I can't manage it then I want a degree that offers me a lot of options. From everything I have read and been informed I know that a liberal arts degree offers a good variety of jobs. I want political science because politics interest me a lot. The big thing in the political science field that I have heard again and again is that it's who you know sometimes and that is an advantage a more expensive school has. The large alumni connection that a school has helps in the political science world.

The thing you keep saying about the loss of jobs goes for any field though. We are in a terrible economic state and of course I am just really hoping that by 2016 the job market is much better. When anyone enters college there is of course a "risk" that goes along with it because you never know how the job market is going to be when you come out no matter what field you are in.

You mentioned passion for the sports journalist. Believe me, that is the only reason I am still trying to hold onto this dream. I am one of the most passionate people for sports you will ever meet.
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Old 03-24-2011, 06:59 AM   #788
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And this is why I am not majoring in a communications or journalism. I know that it is a low paying major and not practica in the sense that it does not offer teh wide variety of jobs as a business or liberal arts degree does. My dream is to be a sports reporter and at 17 I am not ready to give that up yet because I eat, sleep, and breathe sports but at the same time I do see that it might be an unpractical dream. I'll give it a try but if I can't manage it then I want a degree that offers me a lot of options. From everything I have read and been informed I know that a liberal arts degree offers a good variety of jobs. I want political science because politics interest me a lot. The big thing in the political science field that I have heard again and again is that it's who you know sometimes and that is an advantage a more expensive school has. The large alumni connection that a school has helps in the political science world.

The thing you keep saying about the loss of jobs goes for any field though. We are in a terrible economic state and of course I am just really hoping that by 2016 the job market is much better. When anyone enters college there is of course a "risk" that goes along with it because you never know how the job market is going to be when you come out no matter what field you are in.

You mentioned passion for the sports journalist. Believe me, that is the only reason I am still trying to hold onto this dream. I am one of the most passionate people for sports you will ever meet.
Your dream is very doable. Take the time to intern at sports stations and learn from those who have done what you want to do. I worked at two sports networks and love the atmosphere. Education in broadcasting is secondary to experience and networking. Get to know the people who make and shake things in your community and you'll be amazed at the avenues they took to get where they are.
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Old 03-24-2011, 07:05 AM   #789
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disneylovin24 -- it would be hard to pick a worse field for racking up debt. I know a lot of unemployed journalists. I have a degree in journalism (plus a double major in a social science) from what is generally considered one of the top five schools in the field. I've had an okay career, but my 27-year-old makes more $ than I have ever made.

My DH works at a major American newspaper which has cut over half its newsroom staff (includes sports, of course) in the past two years. He was a star editor who has had a Harvard fellowship and co-authored a book, and he has been cut to part-time.

My brother-in-law worked in sports for years. He has been information director for an NCAA athletic conference, worked in sports information at a couple colleges and been athletic director at a college. He's been unemployed almost a year.

Even if you get a job, it is hard to describe just how bad the pay is in this field. You don't start with a good job -- you take something to get you in the door, then move every couple years at the beginning. No one in his/her right mind would do this for anything other than passion. One of the things being done now is downgrading salaries to about half what they were two years ago and offering contract work instead of real jobs. I can't imagine how anyone would pay significant loans.

I'm glad your friends are able to pay their loans and hope you will, too. Just be really careful. I hope the person who advised you to get a liberal arts degree has been hiring for a while... If you're set on doing this, I would advise you (and I did used to advise college students who wanted to go into journalism) to consider a double major in Spanish. Being bilingual is one of the surest ways to job security if you're not going into a medical field, computer science, engineering, etc. (that is, fields that are still hiring).
Agree 100% in the Spanish requirement. It's amazing how it can open doors!

Yes, journalism, especially print journalism, has taken a beating in this economy and with the popularity of the internet. There are other avenues that are still quite lucrative but it always depends on the market you're in. We deal with 82 markets in the United States, some are BOOMING, others are just barely surviving. Getting a position in one of the top ten markets could make the difference but the competition is much stronger. Getting your foot in requires working in smaller markets first, then networking your way through the larger markets.
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Old 03-24-2011, 07:58 AM   #790
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What does anyone know about Guilford College in North Carolina? Not that I can really go there because its so far away from home but I have gotten A LOT of letters from them and am curious.
Small private school. Pretty liberal students, I was told by parents of some students. In Greensboro, so small school in a larger city.
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Old 03-24-2011, 08:06 AM   #791
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The thing you keep saying about the loss of jobs goes for any field though. We are in a terrible economic state and of course I am just really hoping that by 2016 the job market is much better. When anyone enters college there is of course a "risk" that goes along with it because you never know how the job market is going to be when you come out no matter what field you are in.
This is very true. And it is another reason we don't want our kids taking huge loans. There are no guarantees.

Without large loans, you would free yourself to take those lower paying or even non-paid positions that could lead to the position you desire, or might provide great networking opportunities.
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Old 03-24-2011, 08:07 AM   #792
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I want to major in political science (liberal arts degree) but want to work all of my years at school on the school newspaper. My dream job is a sports journalist and I have been advised that I would be better off getting a liberal arts degree since you can do more with that then a communications degree .
You can major in communications at a liberal arts college. You can major in political science at a liberal arts college. Communications and Liberal Arts are not mutually exclusive.
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Old 03-24-2011, 08:11 AM   #793
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And this is why I am not majoring in a communications or journalism. I know that it is a low paying major and not practica in the sense that it does not offer teh wide variety of jobs as a business or liberal arts degree does. My dream is to be a sports reporter and at 17 I am not ready to give that up yet because I eat, sleep, and breathe sports but at the same time I do see that it might be an unpractical dream. I'll give it a try but if I can't manage it then I want a degree that offers me a lot of options. From everything I have read and been informed I know that a liberal arts degree offers a good variety of jobs. I want political science because politics interest me a lot. The big thing in the political science field that I have heard again and again is that it's who you know sometimes and that is an advantage a more expensive school has. The large alumni connection that a school has helps in the political science world.

The thing you keep saying about the loss of jobs goes for any field though. We are in a terrible economic state and of course I am just really hoping that by 2016 the job market is much better. When anyone enters college there is of course a "risk" that goes along with it because you never know how the job market is going to be when you come out no matter what field you are in.

You mentioned passion for the sports journalist. Believe me, that is the only reason I am still trying to hold onto this dream. I am one of the most passionate people for sports you will ever meet.
FYI: Vanderbilt offers a scholarship for those interested in sports writing. Not in your geographic zone, but a well known scholarship for the one who is good enough to win it. Fred Russell-Grantland Rice.
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Old 03-24-2011, 08:32 AM   #794
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Originally Posted by disneylovin24 View Post

I want to major in political science (liberal arts degree) but want to work all of my years at school on the school newspaper. My dream job is a sports journalist and I have been advised that I would be better off getting a liberal arts degree since you can do more with that then a communications degree but still work on the newspaper since many journalists out there today did this. I am currently in contact with my cousin's friend that majored in history but is now working as a sports journalist because he always worked on his school's paper. I am realistic though and if I do not get a job in journalism soon after school I would then try for politics but if that doesn't work I would just want something liberal arts that is a job and where I can make money. The other thing for me is nowhere in my future do I see graduate school, so I do not believe I will ever have to pay for that too. Nothing that I want to do involves going to graduate school.
.
Another thing to look into when you are in college is working with the sports information director. Every college has one in some capacity or another. Some larger schools this is a full-time job, at smaller schools it might be in conjunction with another position (coach, etc.). It would be a great thing to have on your resume if you want to get into sports journalism.

You are very adamant about not going to an all girl's school however, there are "girls" schools across the country that are outstanding and have joint classes with all "boys" schools. Since you want to break into a field that is VERY male dominated, you may have better opportunities to work in sports information/journalism in an all girls school.
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Old 03-24-2011, 11:32 AM   #795
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Anyone watch the Today Show about how to choose a college this morning? It was very basic and said what everyone here has already said but I found it funny that Matt asked whether or not it's the student's choice and how much decision does the parent have? Very timely I thought

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/261848...48108#42248108
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