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Old 09-09-2012, 02:16 PM   #196
LisaR
 
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Originally Posted by Patience View Post
Lisa R, you're right, I only posted one study about students (freshmen) who live on campus but if you google, there are several of them. Regarding college students other than freshmen, I think it would be difficult to find a study like what you are asking about simply because at a lot of universities, only freshmen are guaranteed on campus housing and the majority of upper classmen live off campus in apartments, etc. The studies find that freshmen who live on campus do better than those who live off campus. The poster who stated what you bolded was responding to those who stated that it was not desirable nor necessary for their children to go away to college and have the dorm experience (presumably as freshmen).

I also think you may be right about communitiy colleges and 2 year colleges bringing up their graduation rates as more and more students pick them for financial reasons. However, I think the low graduation rates help illustrate why it is important to save for college if at all possible and to start saving earlier rather than later. The "well, they can just go to community college because I haven't saved nor do I want to" attitude can have a significant effect on a child's future. Again, I do understand that there are families who cannot save. My comments are about those who could save but don't because they have other spending priorities. I do not include retirement savings in that category- the first priority should be retirement saving, then college saving, then saving for everything else, in my opinion and my opinion only.
I agree. I'm always shocked by the number of people who don't even have kids yet, but have already decided they aren't going to save for college once they have them. It is their money but I just couldn't do it that way.
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Old 09-09-2012, 02:31 PM   #197
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Colleen, the study I referenced compared students who lived on campus with students who lived off campus at the same university. In other words, it compared students with similar academic backgrounds. The study found that freshmen who lived on campus did better in the long run than those who did not. It did not compare kids living on campus at a four year university to those living at home and going to a community college. Again, the poster you quoted was responding to those who felt wanting your child to have the "dorm experience" and live on campus (presumably as a freshman because that is the usual sequence of events) was all about drinking and partying and is worthless. It's not and the statitistics show it's not.
I wonder how much economics have to do with this? One reason for going to CC and/or commute from home is to save money. It would seem that not having enough money to stay in residence may be the same reason someone may not be able to continue and finish college.
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Old 09-09-2012, 04:27 PM   #198
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We will pay for our children's undergraduate education in full, though we will likely to expect them to have a part-time job to pay for extras. We expect/hope they will go to a small private college and live on campus, hopefully far away from us, though we do have very good state schools where we live now, so I would not be upset if they went to one of those. Living on my own and not being able to go home other than at long breaks was a great experience and taught me a ton about managing things on my own.

Both my parents and in-laws paid for my husband and my undergrad degrees, which has been a huge boon to both of us when we were pursuing advanced degrees (MD for my husband, JD for me). Not having the undergrad debt made it possible to get these more easily and start our lives. It was a wonderful gift and the only thing they have asked of us is to do it for our children.

I do not believe we slacked off or did not appreciate our educations more because our parents paid for them. If anything, especially for me, knowing what a huge sacrifice it was for my very middle class parents to send me to one of the most expensive schools in the country at time time, motivated me to work harder. I actually finished my degree in 3 years rather than 4 because I wanted to save them the money. Like most things in life, it depends on the people involved.
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Old 09-09-2012, 06:17 PM   #199
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I wonder how much economics have to do with this? One reason for going to CC and/or commute from home is to save money. It would seem that not having enough money to stay in residence may be the same reason someone may not be able to continue and finish college.
Its probably a big part of it.

Anecdotally, a friend of mine teaches at a local community college where she founded a program to try and increase the abysmal graduation rate. She has young adults coming to school who live in their cars. Lots of single parents. (I knew a few of them when I went to the University of Minnesota twenty years ago too, both homeless students (they slept in the student union, showed at the rec facilities, and worked midnight to 8am as security guards to have somewhere to be in the middle of the night).

But it also has to do with expectations and the amount of support both available and accessible. Being on campus 24 hours a day means that there are more opportunities to work with tutors, meet up for study groups, and hit the library. When I commuted into school, if study group met Tuesday night and my only Tuesday class was 10-11am, I wasn't driving back in half an hour to go to study group. When I lived on campus, I had nothing better to do on Tuesday night (well, except drink ) and study group was a chance to meet more people.

And it has to do with the peer group. At a four year school you can find the party crowd, but it isn't hard to find the pre-med/pre-law/engineering crowd. And its easier to find those people when you have the social network of the dorms available. Commute, and you get isolated, those people are harder to find, and can be (in my experience) much more cliquish if many of them live on (or very near) campus. Go to a community college, and they are rare.

I did college four ways - I started at 16 at a community college. At 17 moved into the dorms eight hours from home, moved back home after a year (there was a boy involved ), commuted for a year, then moved into an apartment close to school. As an adult, I went back and commuted at a commuter school while working full time with two kids. The most difficult experiences where the community college (because it was a long commute and no one was serious), and being a commuter at a four year school. By far the easiest was going back at 40 with two kids and a full time job (education is so wasted on the young) - but I can't recommend waiting that long. The other easy way was living on campus. I had so many contacts.
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Old 09-09-2012, 06:23 PM   #200
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I wonder how much economics have to do with this? One reason for going to CC and/or commute from home is to save money. It would seem that not having enough money to stay in residence may be the same reason someone may not be able to continue and finish college.
You are exactly right and the author of the one quality study (using multiple campuses, controlling for housing options and looking at demographic variables) I could find confirms it. Here is an interview with the author - it summarizes what she found & is much shorter than the published articlehttp://www.chron.com/news/houston-te...to-1705236.php

Students who live on campus are FAR more likely to be white & come from higher socio-economic families. THOSE are the factors that (unfortunately) truly predict graduation rates. It is missing the bigger issues to say that simply living on campus predicts higher grad rates.

And although it doesn't have the weight of a peer reviewed study, I'll share my own experiences. I am a professor at a mid-sized faith-based university where a large percentage of the student population lives on campus - it's just the culture of the school. Most of the off-campus students are local so they are living with their parents. I went back & looked at my class rosters from several years, and I see no difference between on & off campus students in terms of graduation rates. Of course, the school I teach at is quite expensive, so there is definitely a socio-economic variable to be considered even with my casual observations.

ETA: I just realized I missed something else from that article. Some on this thread have argued that if you can afford it & you want what's best for your child, you'll have them live on campus. But according to that study, that is wrong-headed. If you can afford it & you can provide an environment for school success, then it really doesn't matter whether they live on campus or not. (In terms of grades/graduation rate - I do know that there are social aspects to living on campus that aren't addressed in this study). The students who would most benefit from living on campus are the ones that can't afford it & don't live in an environment that is giving them all the tools to succeed.

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Old 09-09-2012, 07:29 PM   #201
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I agree that community colleges have a very different student profile than most 4 year colleges or universities. The evidence, however, tends to show that living on campus as a freshman has benefits that a student will not have if they do the first two years at community college. Of course there are students who will do well no matter what but we are talking about planning and saving and paying for college for our kids. I wanted to do what I felt gave my child the best possible chance at success so I saved for her and her sister's college educations at four year universities.
There is correlation, but I haven't seen anything that implies causation. The studies show that kids who have the means and ability to go away to college and live there as a freshman outperform kids who start college under different circumstances (for whatever reason), but I've not seen any that control for academic ability, interest, or other factors that predict a student's success. I doubt you'd see a difference in outcome if you compared motivated students with a solid academic foundation who live on campus vs off or university vs community college.

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I agree. My DD is dual enrolled. She really feels for so many people in her classes that are juggling so many different things (single parent, multiple jobs, sick kids, cars that break down). Our community college is really good. That isn't the problem. Life just gets in the way of so many people who attend CC.
Exactly. That was my experience too, and I've been one of those for whom life got in the way. I finished my AA transfer program, but then had my youngest child and put transferring on hold for a while. If I go back (right now I'm undecided for financial reasons) it'll be next year.
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Old 09-09-2012, 07:36 PM   #202
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My comments are about those who could save but don't because they have other spending priorities. I do not include retirement savings in that category- the first priority should be retirement saving, then college saving, then saving for everything else, in my opinion and my opinion only.
I think that is an easy view to hold when you have the means to dedicate at least some money to all your priorities. Not so much when your income only covers some of them and fully funding college means no money for travel or recreation for the duration of the kids' upbringing.
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Old 09-09-2012, 07:54 PM   #203
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We were offered community and/or in state college, living at home. Anything above that, we could pay ourselves/scholarships.
We are planning a similar deal for our kids. Of course, I will push for scholarships first! I do not think they need the whole dorm experience. If they decide they have to go out of state, then they can pay for their own housing/food.
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Old 09-09-2012, 08:52 PM   #204
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I think that is an easy view to hold when you have the means to dedicate at least some money to all your priorities. Not so much when your income only covers some of them and fully funding college means no money for travel or recreation for the duration of the kids' upbringing.
Notice that I said that my comments were directed to those that could save but don't because they have other financial priorities.

The point is that a lot of people live at or, unfortunately, above their financial means. The result is that they "can't" save. My husband and I put money towards savings when we were newlyweds just starting out and still paying our own student loans and we continue to save. The amount we save has changed because our income has grown as our careers have developed but what hasn't changed is that we live below our means. We buy quality used cars and drive them for a really long time, we have a very nice home but it is not the biggest we could afford, we take one nice vacation each year instead of two or three or more, we had two children instead of three because we wanted to send all of our children to college and give them extra-curricular activities and vacations, we shop sales and look for bargains, etc., etc., etc. I tell my oldest daughter all the time that the key to having money is to live under your means. For some people, of course, that is not possible because their financial means are small but I do believe for most middle to upper class families, it is possible. Too many people with nice incomes spend every dime they make every single month.
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:29 PM   #205
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My family's paying for my undergrad was the greatest gift they could have ever given me. I understand a great many people can't afford it but I do encourage anyone who can to do it. In my opinion the ones who want their kids to work for it for the sake of working for it do them a great disservice. By all means have caveats like keeping up grades or withdrawing of support, but the job market has changed. Work-study is hard to find unless you are in financial need by their standards which as we all know is rather hard to get. Student loans are crippling - particularly with the way the current job market is. You think its hard getting a job with your life's work experience? Try getting one with nothing at all AND thousands of dollars in loans on your back with no way to pay them.

I wouldn't be able to be in graduate school if I had student loans to pay because they would be falling due now. I can live independently in a very frugal manner off of the money I make as a TA and I am no longer dependent on my parents financially, but if I had a loan to repay my salary would not cut it.

And dorm life isn't just partying. I studied engineering and I was meeting with study groups until 3-4 in the morning many nights to get homework done, pulling all-nighters on projects with class in the morning. Having my bed be a walking distance away on days and nights like that was huge. It wouldn't have been safe for me to drive home so my options would have been pick between my commute and my grades. That's not even addressing the helpfulness of having it as a baby step between living at home and living independently now, paying all my own bills and doing all my own cooking/housekeeping.

Just my two cents anyway. Obviously as I said not anyone can afford it but anybody who can manage to help even a little ought to, in my opinion.
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:39 PM   #206
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"However, you really sound like you want to justify that what you can afford is best"..


That's true, what any parent can afford is best. Why on earth would anyone put themselves into a hole so their kid can go to a fancy school? Anyone who does that makes no sense to me.

There are plenty of schools that give a great education and you don't have to break the bank to go there. I will not be financing a social experience- if my kid wants to live on campus, that comes out of her pocket. She will also be expected to have some sort of a job. If living at home, I expect a contribution of some sort, whether that's grocery money or partial rent.
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:43 PM   #207
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We were offered community and/or in state college, living at home. Anything above that, we could pay ourselves/scholarships.
We are planning a similar deal for our kids. Of course, I will push for scholarships first! I do not think they need the whole dorm experience. If they decide they have to go out of state, then they can pay for their own housing/food.
]

And your kids should be grateful that they get what they get. You are still providing them with an education.
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:02 PM   #208
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Notice that I said that my comments were directed to those that could save but don't because they have other financial priorities.

The point is that a lot of people live at or, unfortunately, above their financial means. The result is that they "can't" save. My husband and I put money towards savings when we were newlyweds just starting out and still paying our own student loans and we continue to save. The amount we save has changed because our income has grown as our careers have developed but what hasn't changed is that we live below our means. We buy quality used cars and drive them for a really long time, we have a very nice home but it is not the biggest we could afford, we take one nice vacation each year instead of two or three or more, we had two children instead of three because we wanted to send all of our children to college and give them extra-curricular activities and vacations, we shop sales and look for bargains, etc., etc., etc. I tell my oldest daughter all the time that the key to having money is to live under your means. For some people, of course, that is not possible because their financial means are small but I do believe for most middle to upper class families, it is possible. Too many people with nice incomes spend every dime they make every single month.
That's what I'm saying though... that for many families, there isn't enough money to save for the big priorities like retirement and college while still having something left for the smaller priorities like traveling or extracurriculars. I know this is the budget board where living primarily for tomorrow is applauded, but I don't understand sitting in judgment of someone who chooses a balance between traveling and saving for college even though it means covering a 2+2 plan instead of 4 years at university, or who has two children when they could only afford the 'ideal' university experience for one, or who stays home when the children are small even though it means getting a later start on saving, or who otherwise prioritizes other aspects of life over college savings.

We could save enough to cover 4 years of the full college experience for all three of our children at all but the most expensive schools, but that would come at the cost of not traveling, not sending the kids to private school, not allowing travel/club level extracurriculars, and living a much diminished day-to-day lifestyle. And we're simply not willing to do that. We live simply, drive our older cars, fix up our old house, carry cell phones that only make phone calls, and make do in many ways but there are some things that are worth having a little less in the bank to give the kids a greater range of experiences as they grow.
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:02 PM   #209
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]

And your kids should be grateful that they get what they get. You are still providing them with an education.
Geez, what a bad attitude.

My parents and I approached it as a partnership. I worked and saved before heading off to college, I got grants and loans, and worked during college, and my parents also helped.

I was lucky in that my parents really wanted me to have the WHOLE college experience, and for me that included a sorority and lots of campus involvement. It wasn't just the "partying" -- it was the ability to pull the wee-hours studying sessions, learning about budgeting time and money, getting a sampling of truly taking care of myself -- with a big safety net.

I also graduated from the largest college in my state, with the best program in my field, and I got a job right away even in the midst of a recession because of that huge network and the reputation of the program.

This ultimately paid off for my parents, because when they became ill, I was able to step up and support them.
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Old 09-09-2012, 11:15 PM   #210
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My mother did not pay for mine. I went to school on a scholarship and lived at home. My dh had loans which we finally paid off. His parents were unable to help. I have 4 children and through circumstances no college savings for them. But thankfully oldest is a senior at Umd with a full academic ride intuit includes board and books. Second son goes to cc and lives at home. We pay for that. Third child received a full ride from Hunter as a community scholar. Meaning her community service and Gold award paid off we pay for room which is cheap. Last is in 8th grade...so a few years he will apply to scholarships and he has pool to pick from since he is a cancer survivor.
My kids worked hard in school , joined activities and my girls both received their Gold award. So it does help. We help as much as we can but they know it's basically up to them.
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