How much is too much to pay for a basic college degree?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
How much is too much to pay for a basic college degree?
23
Tue, 01-24-2012 - 2:39pm

Hi, I haven't been on this board in a while. I have two high school seniors, so you can probably understand why! Anyway, I would appreciate some feedback on a situation.

First of all, my daughter (and son as well) is going to inherit a large sum of money in September when she turns 18, which she knows will be her college fund. She is an excellent student and applied to three prestigious colleges. All of them accepted her and offered her nice scholarships.

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
fullmom2 wrote:

she's young, she doesn't yet know herself and surely does not understand the value of money.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998

Not to muddy the waters, but I think it's equally important to consider the experience she will have at her college as it is to consider what the degree she earns there will gain her. I know college education is about prepping a person for his/her future, but that shouldn't be the only consideration.Not all of the schools that offer degrees in her field are going to be a good choice for her, although I don't believe there's any such thing as a perfect match.

Four years is a long time in the life of a teenager. I would want my DD to consider the classroom experience (class size, who is doing most of the teaching, labs, etc), the quality of dorm life, facilities and activities. This will be not only the place where she is educated, but it will also be her home for the time that she is there.

My daughter is a junior in HS, and she is fairly sure that she wants to go to

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
Her chosen school does have a very good reputation for its science programs...fortunately, since her criteria for dismissing the other two schools that accepted her were "I get the impression it's kind of snobby" and "It's too popular." I did try to explain to her that, while those were credible observations, there's a lot more to choosing a college!
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
Thanks for the info - I need to check out that other board, and I appreciate the link to the article on careers.

As for the money, it is out of my hands (her dad passed away and the money was his dad's, and the way things were set up, it goes straight to her when she turns 18). However, she will be starting college before she turns 18, so I plan on funding the first semester, startup costs, etc.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
I really like your advice about using a portion of the money for the undergrad degree - at a less prestigious school - and putting the rest away until she really had a handle on what she wants to do. I am wondering, though...at this point...is it too late to apply to other schools for the coming fall?
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
Great idea. Thanks!
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
You make a very good point about being happy in her environment.
Community Leader
Registered: 12-16-2003

I don't think that all Bachelor's degrees are the same at all. That being said, the costs have to be weighed against your earnings and where you want to go to grad school. I will say that a business degree, so you can network, the more prestigious college may be worth it. If you are studying some thing that is a specialty at the college. Again it may be worth it. But, if you are studying something that is unlikely to land you into a high paying job, where you need to network or work with a leader in your field that happens to work in that college, then it probably is not worth it.

Ramona  Mom to 2 great kids and wife to one wonderful hubby since 1990!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-12-1998

I completely agree.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999

Just to answer your question--no, it's not too late to apply to other colleges, especially those with a larger enrollment, but most colleges want the app for regular admission in between 1/1 and 3/1--the earlier, the better.