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Old 03-24-2011, 02:43 PM   #796
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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.
To expand upon this, school loans are uniquely dangerous because it's easy to get yourself very deeply in the hole before you have the opportunity to realize just how much trouble you're in!

Let me illustrate:

Let's say you lose your head and buy a car that's just too expensive for you. For a couple months you make the payments, and you realize that your checking account is dangerously low. You realize that you're having trouble paying your other bills. Every month you find yourself counting down the days 'til payday, waiting to buy groceries 'til after the 15th, etc. After six months you realize that although you flat-out love this car, you can't afford it. So you sell the car. You lose money in doing so, but you consider it a lesson learned and you buy something better suited to your wallet.

On the other hand, what if instead of a car, you choose a school that's too expensive for your wallet? You borrow X amount for your first year . . . and your second . . . and your third . . . and your fourth. Life is fine and good. Taking out these loans is making your life easier! You're getting exactly what you want. This has no downside! Then you graduate, and your first job isn't paying what you expected (very likely in the field you're considering). Just like the car-purchaser, after a few months you realize that your checking account is dangerously low. You're having trouble paying your other bills. Every month you find yourself counting down the days 'til payday, waiting to buy groceries 'til after the 15th, etc. After six months you realize that although you flat-out loved your college choice, you couldn't afford it. You're stuck. For the next decade or more. Student loans, by their very nature, allow you to get yourself in DEEP before you have the life experience to realize that you're biting off too much.

Have you heard student loans referred to as "starter debt"? They're so-named because people who leave school riddled with loans often find themselves forced into more debt to maintain a moderate lifestyle.

Last edited by MrsPete; 04-01-2011 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 03-24-2011, 04:01 PM   #797
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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 . . . 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.
I only know one person in the journalism field, and she was unable to get ANYTHING that paid in the beginning. She started out working for free and then turned to a different field.

If you're dead-set on journalism, sports is probably a good specialty because it's a topic that's not going downhill anytime soon. Also, you need to be very aware that this is a career that's in transition right now. Print journalism is dying out, web-based journalism is on the rise.

Also, I'd ask if you're a sports-fan who is willing to write to work in the world of sports, or if you're a journalist who happens to enjoy sports. That is, are you a person who loves everything about sports, who is likely a bit competative, a bit obsessive about favorite teams, and who wants to work in that atmosphere? Or are you a person who loves words, who notices a unique verb or a well-turned phrase, a person who writes for fun and who can see turning that into a job through sports? It makes a difference.

You said that 17 is too young to give up on a dream, and I agree with that; however, it's also old enough to realize that you don't put all your eggs in one basket. You need your dream AND a back-up plan.

What else do you enjoy that's sports-related? Graphic design, advertising, and merchandising are fields easier to break into than journalism. The business end of sports is HUGE. Sports medicine and training are fields that're likely to increase in future years. I'd suggest that you pursue sports reporting, BUT ALSO qualify yourself for something else that you'd enjoy. You'll never find a downside to being able to do more than one thing.
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Old 03-24-2011, 04:29 PM   #798
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I only know one person in the journalism field, and she was unable to get ANYTHING that paid in the beginning. She started out working for free and then turned to a different field.

If you're dead-set on journalism, sports is probably a good specialty because it's a topic that's not going downhill anytime soon. Also, you need to be very aware that this is a career that's in transition right now. Print journalism is dying out, web-based journalism is on the rise.

Also, I'd ask if you're a sports-fan who is willing to write to work in the world of sports, or if you're a journalist who happens to enjoy sports. That is, are you a person who loves everything about sports, who is likely a bit competative, a bit obsessive about favorite teams, and who wants to work in that atmosphere? Or are you a person who loves words, who notices a unique verb or a well-turned phrase, a person who writes for fun and who can see turning that into a job through sports? It makes a difference.

You said that 17 is too young to give up on a dream, and I agree with that; however, it's also old enough to realize that you don't put all your eggs in one basket. You need your dream AND a back-up plan.

What else do you enjoy that's sports-related? Graphic design, advertising, and merchandising are fields easier to break into than journalism. The business end of sports is HUGE. Sports medicine and training are fields that're likely to increase in future years. I'd suggest that you pursue sports reporting, BUT ALSO qualify yourself for something else that you'd enjoy. You'll never find a downside to being able to do more than one thing.
I'm a perfect example of your reasoning.

My Mom would not let me major in theatre in school, even though acting was my dream. I thought she was mean and evil but I didn't realize that she was thinking future and the chances of me being the next Cicely Tyson was a pipe dream...

So I majored in English and minored in Speech and Theatre. The two intertwined well since I would read and write plays in English, then perform them in theatre.

When I graduated I learned enough to know that there was WAY more to production than the person in FRONT of the camera. I pursued my dream but in the background. I started out in publishing (due to my English degree) but quickly moved over to radio then to television. My on air people call ME boss!

I took my passion and made it my field. It's wonderful to KNOW where and what you want at a young age, there are many avenues in the field that you can conquer. I repeat, NETWORK NETWORK NETWORK. This industry is extremely competitive in the big markets and it's never WHAT you know but WHO you know. The best jobs are never advertised. I get requests daily that never made it to the internet or the jobsites until they were filled.

Don't let anyone squash your dream, just remember that you can make your dream your own.
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Old 03-24-2011, 05:56 PM   #799
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Originally Posted by MrsPete View Post
I only know one person in the journalism field, and she was unable to get ANYTHING that paid in the beginning. She started out working for free and then turned to a different field.

If you're dead-set on journalism, sports is probably a good specialty because it's a topic that's not going downhill anytime soon. Also, you need to be very aware that this is a career that's in transition right now. Print journalism is dying out, web-based journalism is on the rise.

Also, I'd ask if you're a sports-fan who is willing to write to work in the world of sports, or if you're a journalist who happens to enjoy sports. That is, are you a person who loves everything about sports, who is likely a bit competative, a bit obsessive about favorite teams, and who wants to work in that atmosphere? Or are you a person who loves words, who notices a unique verb or a well-turned phrase, a person who writes for fun and who can see turning that into a job through sports? It makes a difference.

You said that 17 is too young to give up on a dream, and I agree with that; however, it's also old enough to realize that you don't put all your eggs in one basket. You need your dream AND a back-up plan.

What else do you enjoy that's sports-related? Graphic design, advertising, and merchandising are fields easier to break into than journalism. The business end of sports is HUGE. Sports medicine and training are fields that're likely to increase in future years. I'd suggest that you pursue sports reporting, BUT ALSO qualify yourself for something else that you'd enjoy. You'll never find a downside to being able to do more than one thing.
If you read my posts you can see that I explained that I am most certainly not planning on putting all my eggs in one baskets.
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Old 03-24-2011, 05:59 PM   #800
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I majored in English with a minor in Journalism. That minor opened up so many doors for me! Granted, my newspaper jobs right out of college were terrible.... very low pay (I started at $7.35 an hour in 1997) and terrible hours. Who gets stuck covering boring city council meetings in the evenings and working Thanksgiving and Christmas? Newbies. I left the field after a couple of years.

Still, though, the English major was broad enough that I could do lots of other things, so I wasn't stuck.
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Old 03-27-2011, 08:51 PM   #801
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Went to a great open house yesterday at the newest state college in Georgia, GGC. Loved it. The president was a hoot and gave us a great presentation. I ran into an old high school classmate from Brooklyn, I was shocked!! Her son is my son's age and we're going thru the same college crapola! At least now I have a partner to whine to, all of my co workers are childless and my sisters "kids" are in their 30s and 40s...

My son wasn't impressed until he saw the dorms and the food court. The food made him want to sign up that day.... uh, NOT the reason to choose a college!! Anyway, it was a FUN day!
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Old 03-27-2011, 08:58 PM   #802
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Went to a great open house yesterday at the newest state college in Georgia, GGC. Loved it. The president was a hoot and gave us a great presentation. I ran into an old high school classmate from Brooklyn, I was shocked!! Her son is my son's age and we're going thru the same college crapola! At least now I have a partner to whine to, all of my co workers are childless and my sisters "kids" are in their 30s and 40s...

My son wasn't impressed until he saw the dorms and the food court. The food made him want to sign up that day.... uh, NOT the reason to choose a college!! Anyway, it was a FUN day!
He's a boy, food's important

DD went to a basketball camp a few years ago at my alma matter, they just opened the new cafeteria--WOW!!!! They built it with the idea of hosting wedding receptions, etc. there. It is just amazing--WAY better then what we had in the basement of a 100+ year old building .
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:07 AM   #803
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Ok, starting to get a rough idea of a summer college tour route. We want to go to Notre Dame and Creighton in Omaha, NE for sure. Not sure if we will do them in one trip or two. If we do them in one trip we will stop in St. Louis to visit my parents (unless they have moved back to MN by then). Any other suggestions for schools in WI, IL, IN, MO, IA that we should hit.

DD16 (Happy Birthday today to her) is interested in the sciences, possibly medicine

DS16 (Happy Birthday today to him too) is interested in math, possibly actuarial sciences and history.

Both would do better at a smaller college but not ruling out larger ones either. Notre Dame is DS's dream school so if he gets in there, that decision is made . DD doesn't really have a "dream" school but would like to play golf at some level.
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:15 AM   #804
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My son wasn't impressed until he saw the dorms and the food court. The food made him want to sign up that day.... uh, NOT the reason to choose a college!! Anyway, it was a FUN day!
It's a hoot what makes or breaks a college for kids (and parents too).

http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/...-visiting.html
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:21 AM   #805
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golfgal, please make sure to post about Notre Dame when you get back. I know nothing about it outside of sports, and despite the opinion of a very young DD, it is a poor overall reason to pick a school.
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:00 AM   #806
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Ok, starting to get a rough idea of a summer college tour route. We want to go to Notre Dame and Creighton in Omaha, NE for sure. Not sure if we will do them in one trip or two. If we do them in one trip we will stop in St. Louis to visit my parents (unless they have moved back to MN by then). Any other suggestions for schools in WI, IL, IN, MO, IA that we should hit.

DD16 (Happy Birthday today to her) is interested in the sciences, possibly medicine

DS16 (Happy Birthday today to him too) is interested in math, possibly actuarial sciences and history.

Both would do better at a smaller college but not ruling out larger ones either. Notre Dame is DS's dream school so if he gets in there, that decision is made . DD doesn't really have a "dream" school but would like to play golf at some level.
to DS and DD

My DS is tossing around actuarial science, too. His pre-calc teacher is the one who suggested it. He's also interested in accounting. So we're kind of looking for a school that has both, but that's rare.

We had a visit at Rider U on Saturday. Ds wasn't feeling well, but we went anyway. What a mistake, he hated everything about it. I liked the 16-20,000 scholarship for good GPA and SAT.

The biggest problem was the dorm, the hallways were barely wide enough for 2 people to walk through, basketball players couldn't live in that one because it had about 7 foot ceilings and then they had a retrofit sprinkler system on the ceiling. I'm only 5-2 and it felt too low for me.

They look us through the dining hall at lunchtime, it smelled good, looked good but they didn't offer us food. Not nice to do to an already hungry cranky teenager.
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:24 AM   #807
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golfgal, please make sure to post about Notre Dame when you get back. I know nothing about it outside of sports, and despite the opinion of a very young DD, it is a poor overall reason to pick a school.
Will do. We have several friends that are Notre Dame alum and they just loved it there. Yes, sports are a big part of the culture there but I think that actually is a good thing. I think it builds comrade among the students and creates a great alumni network afterwards. DS16 is a huge sports fan so that is an important part of his college choice too.

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to DS and DD

My DS is tossing around actuarial science, too. His pre-calc teacher is the one who suggested it. He's also interested in accounting. So we're kind of looking for a school that has both, but that's rare.

We had a visit at Rider U on Saturday. Ds wasn't feeling well, but we went anyway. What a mistake, he hated everything about it. I liked the 16-20,000 scholarship for good GPA and SAT.

The biggest problem was the dorm, the hallways were barely wide enough for 2 people to walk through, basketball players couldn't live in that one because it had about 7 foot ceilings and then they had a retrofit sprinkler system on the ceiling. I'm only 5-2 and it felt too low for me.

They look us through the dining hall at lunchtime, it smelled good, looked good but they didn't offer us food. Not nice to do to an already hungry cranky teenager.
Most actuaries don't necessarily have a degree in actuarial science, many just have a math degree so don't discount schools that don't have an actuarial program. We have a few friends that are actuaries and they have math degrees.
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Old 03-28-2011, 11:12 AM   #808
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Just wanted to share DD's birthday cake her friend made--off topic, but Disney

She did the picture free hand. She loves making cakes.
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Old 03-28-2011, 11:59 AM   #809
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Will do. We have several friends that are Notre Dame alum and they just loved it there. Yes, sports are a big part of the culture there but I think that actually is a good thing. I think it builds comrade among the students and creates a great alumni network afterwards. DS16 is a huge sports fan so that is an important part of his college choice too.



Most actuaries don't necessarily have a degree in actuarial science, many just have a math degree so don't discount schools that don't have an actuarial program. We have a few friends that are actuaries and they have math degrees.
The difference is in the classes, he detests geometry (he got a 92 one marking period and that was his only B ever, 93 is an A) and math majors have to take geometry. We looked up some of the actuarial requirements and no geometry.

Cute cake.
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Old 03-30-2011, 10:58 AM   #810
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Golfgal and anyone else who is looking at Carroll University ~

I took DS to visit yesterday and he absolutely loved it. As we were walking back to the car he told me "if I get accepted, this is where I am going!" I was not to impressed with the campus, but I think that is becasue I am used to seeing schools that are somewhat isolated from the town. DS loved the idea of it being small and the professors being the only one to teach the course. I did like how much financial assitance is available. I believe I have mentioned the merrit scholarships before and DS should qualify for $12,500 a year. http://www.carrollu.edu/prospective/scholarships.asp Even though these are mostly based on ACT/SAT and class rank, the Dean of Admissions told us that they look at GPA too because at a more competitive high school, you can have an awesome GPA but still fall in the 30% for class rank. (this is DS case) They also have a Carroll Grant program that is funded by donors and is given on a financial need basis and has no limit. Another great thing is that they allow you to stack your outside scholarships and do not take that away from what they would award you. Basically, from the sound of it, they will do everything they can to find the money so you can go there is you want.
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