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Old 09-11-2012, 01:54 PM   #241
Colleen27
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Originally Posted by punkin View Post
Just one thing about the graduation statistics. They are usually (almost universal for public schools) given as 6 year graduation rates, not 4 year. A graduation rate of over 80% is nothing to worry about anyway. It seems appropriate given many individual circumstances and transfers.

It's the 6 year rates under 80% I would worry about; as well as the schools with sub 20% graduation rates like these from my area: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...SVsO_blog.html
6 years may be appropriate for traditional students, but for non-traditional students I think even that is too narrow. A few semesters of cutting back to part time for whatever reason, or a couple issues of classes not being offered at manageable times, and it can easily take that long for any student who is juggling college with work/life.

From what I can tell, graduation rates seem to be primarily a function of selectivity - the most selective colleges have the best rates, and the least selective have the worst. In many ways it is like trying to compare private schools that can cherry-pick their student body with public schools that welcome everyone. Of course when you have a group of incoming freshmen who have all performed well academically in the past and have the intellectual and financial resources to commit to an expensive, demanding educational program you're going to have better results than when you have a mix between those students and the poor, those who didn't perform well enough in high school to get into a traditional university, non-traditional students who are balancing school with work and family, and people taking classes for personal reasons rather than for degree advancement.
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Old 09-11-2012, 02:15 PM   #242
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I paid my own college education. Community College and then transferred to the NH state university. It took me one more year to complete my BS. I never lived in a dorm.

For our two kids we are paying for the first three years and the fourth years will be the kids expense. Daughter just started her third year. Son did community college and is now looking for work. He starts a job tomorrow and had an interview with a tech company today.
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Old 09-12-2012, 06:25 PM   #243
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It runs in my family. My siblings are the same way, brother HATED living off campus, changed universities to live with other family members in another state. But none of us like the college experience. How someone can like living in a dorm is really beyond me,
I never wanted the dorm experience, either. Couldn't see the appeal.

My brother tested out of three math classes before he started college, wasn't top of his graduating high school class but was up there, then flunked out his first college semester -- while he was in a dorm. Once he moved back home, he did well in college, although he really didn't see the point to it, so despite his good grades he eventually dropped out. He wanted a more "hands on" job than he figured college would get him -- eventually he tested into an auto mechanic's license (self-taught), and was happy with that for a while. When he was around thirty he went back to school and got a degree (bachelors in business and public relations I think). Now he works for Honda and part of his job is to drive and review their new cars; when he visits us, he picks up a new Honda at a local dealership to drive out and back. So an office job, but with definite perks that are directly connected to his days of avoiding college.

Personally, I went to college initially because my dad insisted on it, and then because I enjoyed it. I never seriously intended to get a degree, however in terms of credits I'm in the middle of my junior year. But my lack of a degree says nothing about the school I went to.

So I think graduation rates say more about the student population than the college. I know a lot of people who dropped out who were perfectly capable of passing college from an intellectual standpoint, and who had good teachers, but they just weren't that interested in getting a degree. What upsets me is how many then ended up saddled with debt -- I knew going in I wasn't going to get a financial benefit from a degree so paid as I went.

But I've also known a lot of people who went to college "because it's the thing to do," who graduated and ended up with serious debt and nothing to show for it. Most of them went out and got certified in something (med tech, secretarial school, accounting, real estate) in order to get either a good job, or a job that would get them somewhere. My little sister is the only one of my siblings who did the standard "go off to college and get a degree" thing -- she ended up going back to school for a Computer Tech certificate.

Despite all that, my dad's a true believe in the "go off to college and live in the dorm and get your bachelors, and you'd be a success" routine. Didn't work for his kids, but he thinks it'll work better on his grandkids somehow.

I think it's less about whether the kid pays for college or not, and more about whether they know what they want to do with their lives yet. My sister's plans were derailed, but she definitely had them; we would happily help a kid who wants to go to college to accomplish "x." But we're not pressuring our kids to go to college "because it's the thing to do," and if they can't draw a clear connection between their degree and a reasonable chance of making money, any help we give them will not likely be in cash form beyond what we can easily sacrifice.
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Old 09-12-2012, 07:57 PM   #244
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Do any kids really want the dorm experience? My son would have loved to live off campus, but his school requires that freshman live on campus
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Old 09-12-2012, 07:58 PM   #245
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Do any kids really want the dorm experience? My son would have loved to live off campus, but his school requires that freshman live on campus
I didn't want it, but I loved it. It's why I became an RA at my university.
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Old 09-12-2012, 07:59 PM   #246
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I didn't want it, but I loved it. It's why I became an RA at my university.
My son too! He wasn't happy at first, but he ended up liking it and opted to be an RA the next year
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:07 PM   #247
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Do any kids really want the dorm experience? My son would have loved to live off campus, but his school requires that freshman live on campus
Absolutely!

The reason so many of us want our kids to have that experience is because it was one of the most fun times of our lives. My experience, and that of many people I know who've lived in dorms past and present, is that even with occasional roommate issues etc. - living in a dorm is FUN. It's kind of a unique time period in your life, probably your only chance to live that way.

I moved off campus my last year of college, but spent a lot of time visiting friends in the dorms. My apartment with three other girls was boring in comparison. I certainly don't look back on it as a unique living experience. I shared apartments after college too, though they got nicer.

I worked at a National Park in the summers during college and had a locker and a bed in a 60 person sleeping porch. It was a blast! Having a room with only one roommate seemed like quite the luxury after that.

If we lived close to college I wouldn't really see the point in paying for my child to have his own apartment - he can do that after school. I would see a point in paying for the dorm so he could have that once in a lifetime experience.
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:10 PM   #248
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I paid for my own and worked two jobs. I was angry at my parents at the time for not offering but now i realize it only made me stronger.
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:50 PM   #249
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Do any kids really want the dorm experience? My son would have loved to live off campus, but his school requires that freshman live on campus
My daughter was off with her cousin this summer - my daughter is 12 and her cousin is a Freshman this year. My daughter came home full of vicarious dorm excitement. "Grace's room mate is from California. They were talking on the phone and emailing. Grace is doing this and bringing that."

My friend's daughter who just moved off to the dorm was similarly excited.

Yeah, kids want the dorm experience. I'm sure some of them are mature enough (or believe themselves to be mature enough) to want to move straight into an apartment. And others want to live at home. But a dorm is a little like Summer camp. Its a chance to make new friends and reinvent yourself.

(Oh, and Grace lives in New York City - she has always had to share a room in a tiny apartment with her brother who is five years younger. For her, the idea of sharing a bigger room with a girl her own age is an upgrade.)
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:18 PM   #250
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Yeah, kids want the dorm experience. I'm sure some of them are mature enough (or believe themselves to be mature enough) to want to move straight into an apartment. And others want to live at home. But a dorm is a little like Summer camp. Its a chance to make new friends and reinvent yourself.)

For the 17-19 year old Freshman and Sophomore college students I think the dorm experience is very popular. It is like an older version of summer camp with more freedom.

Only in that age group could you convince them to pay $1000 a month (by going into debt) to live in a tiny room with a stranger you have never met and share bathrooms that are down the hall from you and eat your meals in a building that you have to walk to in all weather...and convince them it is an experience not to be missed

But the older students seem to reach a point where they want more privacy and they don't really care as much for that 'summer camp' environment and living off campus is less expensive. So they usually want apartments.

But I agree, most of the young students want it. My girls would LOVE to live in the dorms. We just aren't willing to pay for it since we live only 5 minutes away (driving, 20 minutes walking).
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:34 PM   #251
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My DD has been to three college summer programs and stayed in dorms. She had a blast at the programs but each time she comes home she says she can definitely live without the dorm experience.

She may not have a choice since it is a requirement at some universities for freshman. If it is required, she would prefer an apartment style dorm but some schools don't offer that. It will be interesting to see where she ends up.
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:02 PM   #252
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Do any kids really want the dorm experience? My son would have loved to live off campus, but his school requires that freshman live on campus
I didn't really care for living in a dorm, but living in a fraternity... Now that was fun!
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Old 09-13-2012, 09:21 AM   #253
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For the 17-19 year old Freshman and Sophomore college students I think the dorm experience is very popular. It is like an older version of summer camp with more freedom.

Only in that age group could you convince them to pay $1000 a month (by going into debt) to live in a tiny room with a stranger you have never met and share bathrooms that are down the hall from you and eat your meals in a building that you have to walk to in all weather...and convince them it is an experience not to be missed

But the older students seem to reach a point where they want more privacy and they don't really care as much for that 'summer camp' environment and living off campus is less expensive. So they usually want apartments.

But I agree, most of the young students want it. My girls would LOVE to live in the dorms. We just aren't willing to pay for it since we live only 5 minutes away (driving, 20 minutes walking).
lol...how true! Add in the possibility of a partier rooming with a non-partier or the -ahem- "guests" who sleep over when you need peace and quiet or you have a guest and your room-mate is not in agreement...I do see a lot more single room living situations offered int he dorms these days tho. I know that drives up the cost overall, but I bet many pay the extra for it, and the suite-style buildings, with a bathroom in-between 2 bedrooms so only 4 share and no walking down the hall, showering in your flip flops.
My DS who is attending CC, would benifit from being away in a lot of aspects, he would really like the opportunity to form another "family" of new friends away at school, but he also would need some form of loans to be away all 4 years so he is making the social sacrafice for the financial one for his first 2 years. He wants to live out west, AZ, CO or the like so he is not spennding now, so he can obtain that goal in a few years. It is hard when kids keep posting on FB how fabulous college life is, not going to say he isn't envious...but he also is saving for a cool car, which he says will last longer (and he will remember better)than 2 years of dorm living. Time will tell if he continues to stay with his current plan. An 18 year old guy will flip flop around a bit, lol. ...as I posted before we split the cost with our kids 50/50(as long as we can afford our 50 ) so where they decide to go does impact their future finacially as well as educationally. We aren't loaded so we can't foot the bill for all 4 years of the whole college experience, our kids have to pick and choose what are the top prioroties. It stinks at times, but it could be a whole lot worse. They could be having to choose which bench to sleep on or trash bin to eat out of. I actually liked having both CC and State school experiences. I preffered the smaller class size of the CC and the shorter walks in the winter to class..seeing friends more frequently and more job choices...and my state school was nick-named a "suit-case" school as so many packed up and left on the weekends for home, visit friends..whatever. It all depends on how happy and successful one is in their environment. Bottom line is it is costly for anyone to get a higher education and if they can have assistance in getting that bill paid, it's a good thing, if they can't they are not alone.
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Old 09-13-2012, 09:53 AM   #254
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...and my state school was nick-named a "suit-case" school as so many packed up and left on the weekends for home, visit friends..whatever. It all depends on how happy and successful one is in their environment. Bottom line is it is costly for anyone to get a higher education and if they can have assistance in getting that bill paid, it's a good thing, if they can't they are not alone.
I am curious...is this the new 'norm' at college? Going home every weekend?

I ask this because (as I mentioned) my girls are living at home, but we are only 5 minutes from campus so they go over a lot, hang out with friends, are part of clubs and things. And they have both meet new people that they will invite to do things and will ask if they want to hang out on the weekend, but they seem to keep getting the response...."I go home on weekends."

Now they are Freshmen, and their new friends are also Freshmen....so maybe this is a Freshmen thing? Or is it the new norm? Maybe to work at a job on the weekends? Or they just want to be back with their old friends?

I am only asking because it seems as if making/being friends with local kids is going to be better since they are the only ones around to do stuff on the weekends.

I don't remember this way back in the day when I went to college. I left, came home on breaks and that was pretty much it.

So are others seeing this as a trend at college?
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:15 AM   #255
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Maybe it depends upon if the university has a good football team?

My daughter has been home one weekend since leaving for college on August 10. She is a cheerleader and football season is underway so I doubt she will be home again for awhile. Her roommate is not a cheerleader and she went home for Labor Day weekend but that's it. The football games are very popular and well-attended so I doubt most freshmen will be leaving campus on football weekends at my daughter's school.
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