Sticker Shock!!!!

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by Rocketdog01, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. Rocketdog01

    Rocketdog01 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2013
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    I just received my sons estimated tuition cost to attend the Citadel class of 2017. I have to say I never expected to see that number $48,500.00 times two for next year. I have a son already there he will be a senior next year. When all said and done it will have costed close to a half of a million dollars in college costs. No scholarships to be had. My younger son applied to Naval Academy, West Point with MOC nomination and MO-ROTC with no luck, I say that because he had everything that was required and more but apparently just was not enough. I am hoping that someone has some great words to help me justify this. I just don't know if a college education is worth the cost anymore. :frown:
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Messages:
    7,543
    Likes Received:
    1,004
    Why does it have to be The Citadel? Was he accepted at any in-state public schools with an NROTC program where he can participate as a College Programmer? Costs are much lower. Since the sideload scholarship competition is national I don't see any particular advantage to being at The Citadel from a scholarship perspective. Of course someone more familiar with The Citadel than I may have another insight. I know they have a great NROTC-MO program, but gee whiz.
     
  3. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Messages:
    5,539
    Likes Received:
    837
    When you say $48,500.00 times two, do you mean the cost of both sons for one year.

    What does your son plan as a major?

    Is your older son on scholarship at school?

    I have to agree with Kinnem, these days with the high cost of tuition you really need to look at Cost vs Value. Public in state schools that offer NROTC will gain the same end result with far less debt. Unless an out of state higher cost school has a program no other school has then you really need to weigh the value of the higher tuition. It sounds like your son's dream is to be a Marine Officer, he can realize that dream several ways, paying $48,500.00+ per year doesn't have to be part of the equation. The name tab on his uniform will say US Marines, it won't have a second line that says "from The Citadel"

    This has always been my thought, no matter what the student majors in, they will be in the Marines for 5 years, if they decide to leave the Marines after their initial obligation they will be 5 years + removed from their major. What will matter now is their Graduate degree, after that nobody will look that hard at where they received their undergrad.

    If that letter arrived at my house my first comment would be, "Son, you better deliver a lot of pizzas this summer"
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2013
  4. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Messages:
    3,001
    Likes Received:
    301
    It is pretty staggering how much college costs, and out of state tuitions make public schools pretty much as expensive as private schools. I have never regretted going to VMI and felt I was phenomenally well served by the school- and I know that almost every Citadel grad would say the same. But- it didn't cost me anything (or almost nothing)- I'm not sure if I would feel the same if I had been stuck with $150,000 + in debt upon graduation. I don't really know how much longer students will continue to pay what seem to be ever increasing costs to go to schools that can not guarantee you a well paying job that will allow you to pay off those debts and still be able to start your life reasonably financially secure. I know this is a topic of a lot of conversation and concern among the Alums who I talk with (VMI out of state this year is $41k- which has increased about $11k since 2008).

    I would caution that you absolutely can't count on your son going into the Service on graduation- especially without the carrot/stick of a scholarship. Lots of Cadets discover that what was their heartfelt desire at 18 is not the case at graduation time. So- that means that you have got to make sure that you pick a major that you can be reasonably assured of employment with after graduation. Right now- as far as I can tell, the only fields where that really is true are various engineering fields. (I personally believe that to spend that much money/take on that much debt and get a Liberal Arts degree is a bad investment.) The Citadel will give you about as good an Alumni network for hiring as any school I can think of, but if you have to take on virtually all of that as loans- then you really need to think hard because even a $60-$65k starting salary(which is roughly what a brand new ME will get based on what we are paying in Massachusetts ) won't leave much after you make your monthly loan payments. It's a lot of dough. Good luck and do a lot of soul searching, financial analysis and praying. Tough situation shared by more and more.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2013
  5. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,273
    Likes Received:
    312
    Wise advice, TPG. The important thing is to uplift the capabilities of the community colleges.

    As far as the staggering cost of college tuition, the snake has begun to devour its own tail, though perhaps not soon enough. Online education has been improving at a rapid rate as educators have taken it more seriously. Universities like Stanford have been developing high quality college level courses which can be taken simultaneously by thousands of people, even tens of thousands. The cost of producing and delivering them is far below that of conventional college lecture courses, and the economies can be shared. In fact, some are now free (Note to Mrs. Delahanty, now working on a Ph. D.: not a bull market for college professors).

    Five years ago I could get seven hours of professional continuing education credit by blitzing through an on-line course in an hour or two. Enough thought has gone into the design that now a course on a similar subject takes five or six hours. Of course, part of that might be me.

    Perhaps someday colleges will live up to their true intended purpose: giving football players and other scholar-athletes a safe, dry environment to relax in between practices.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2013
  6. glen

    glen Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2010
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    70
    to RocketDog01 - Sticker Shock

    I am a grad of The Citadel and believe it offered me a leg up both in my military service (Army) and getting through law school. But that was many years ago. I will have to agree that the cost of attending the college today for non-scholarship (either academic or military) can be staggering and leave questions as to value vs a public in-state institution.

    For Cadets on academic or military scholarships - I believe it is an outstanding bargain when compared to the cost at private small colleges - where typically studends get the best value for their money. Large state universities may offer lower tuition, but they also offer large classes - 400 to 600 in 1st year required gen ed courses - and these are typically taught by graduate students, some who can't speak understandable English. So this is an advantage I would say The Citadel, VMI especially have over large in-state universities. And of course, connections to alumni can be important - assuming one has the good credentials and right major to start with. A Cadet's resume will stand out from among others, but he/she has to have the right major and good grades plus internships, etc. Today its not enough to just go to college.

    One reply mentioned looking carefully at your son's major as a factor in deciding to continue at The Citadel. The Engineering programs are ranked very high for undergrad programs in civil and electrical and computer engineering (The Engineering School is ranked #17 nationally in the US News & World Report). The cost is high, but these Cadets have small classes and are taught by steller full professors not grad students as at large universities. If you sons wish to be engineers, there is no better environment to succeed. Citadel engineering graduates (about 25% of each class) typically demand high starting salaries if they do not choose a military scholarship or military contract. The Business school (accounting and finance especially) is also ranked high by Princeton Review and year after year receives good marks from employers. There are plenty of good jobs for smart accountants and finance experts (make sure the grades are 3.0 or better though). So these should be prime choices unless your sons are interested in pure science or math programs. I work for a science and technology company and there are jobs (not many but there are good paying jobs) available in the technology industries for top science and math (usually requires masters degrees in specialty) which can also secure good pay after granduation.

    As for liberal arts - unless planning on law school (I am a lawyer and can tell you that this will cost on average another $100+ grand with only the top 25% of grads from top law schools who can secure good legal jobs) or you have a job waiting for your sons after they graduate at your business - you need to think hard about continuing at a small college like The Citadel without either an academic or military scholarship. Sad to say it, but the state of South Carolina - now run by rabid conservative Republicans who have little interest in higher education - has essentially turned away from its colleges and universities. The Citadel now receives less than 10% of its annual budget from the state - even though it is a state college.

    As a father of two daughters - one who went to a public university (Penn State) as an out of state student, and one who went to NYU (private university in New York) - both 10 years ago, I can tell you I really don't know if my wife and I would have been as supportive of my kids choices given today's costs. Penn State is well into the $45 + grand cost for out of state, and forget NYU - pushing $60 + grand as a sticker price for one year. And these are just the listed costs - hidden fees add more. Good luck sir!
     
  7. BlindROTC

    BlindROTC Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hi RocketDog - your other post said that your husband will retire soon. Without knowing other details, it still seems like a bad time for committing to another $200K in college costs. Your DS may perceive this as unfair because his older brother is already at the Citadel, but, if he's got an acceptance in-hand to Rutgers, in your shoes I would send him to Rutgers. If not, maybe start at the Citadel but then look into a transfer to TAMU, where in-state tuition can be obtained for the Corps of Cadets. Also compete for a side-load scholarship as Kinnem suggested, but those are not guaranteed. Your DS (and you) should still have a financial safety plan.

    I understand the arguments for small vs. big and SMC vs. civilian schools, but those are luxuries. Regardless of his major or his plans for a military career, your DS will rise or fall on his own efforts. We all know people who've been quite successful coming from a variety of schools.

    Good luck.
     
  8. Rocketdog01

    Rocketdog01 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2013
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you all for your input. I will try to keep this short. My OS is a junior this year and is majoring in Business Administration, and he has made the deans list at this very challenging school. Going into the college in 2009 his tuition was around $32k, four years later and we are looking at about $42k. and with YS attending his first year at $48k thats where the times two came in. Besides applying for the Academies he applied to the Citadel, VMI and was accepted to both. He will also major in Business Administration. He did not apply to any other schools. This always being plan C. Why the Citadel? One of the schools best assets would be their emphases on leadership and the honor code that is part of their everyday life at the school. You are always responsible and held accountable for your own actions and you should rely on your moral compass to guide you through tough times. We have always impressed these beliefs upon them growing up and we were happy to find a school that put these values along with education a top priority. So, yes we are aware of the many other options avaliable to them but none seem to be a good fit. They both have worked hard in school, on the field and volunteer and work when possible. We will continue to support them both as long as we can. They both know the scarifices that are being made on their behalf and we only hope and pray that the investments made today will be rewarded in their future. I think I was expressing what many of us parents are feeling after receiving the TWE. And I can't help but think what the tuition costs for our grandchildren will be and if any of the young adults in the future will be able to afford the costs of a higher education of their choosing or have to settle for less???
     
  9. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Messages:
    5,539
    Likes Received:
    837
    I could not agree more.

    I can say with confidence, if either of my son's had not received a scholarship they would have stayed in state and followed a similar course mentioned by Tgp.

    I have seen the parents of friends of both my sons raid their 401k's and other retirement plans, take out second mortgages, or deplete their savings to send their kids to high cost private and out of state universities. Even with this help the students took on a high amount of debt. There would be very few financial advisors that would think any of this was a good idea, for the parent or the student.

    We have also seen local kids that spent their first two years at a CC, then transferring to complete their degrees, working while attending school. This path may have taken an extra year at the CC but they finished with no debt.

    A student can be responsible, held accountable for their actions, and rely on their moral compass at a local state school, it's more about the person then it is the school.
     
  10. jbsail

    jbsail Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    0
    Rocketdog,

    Rutgers is another great school, if an option for him. Once he is in and out of school it doesn't matter where you went (mil or civ), its basically how big your desire is once you get into the real world.

    I wouldn't push it if you can't afford it. I met friends of friends that went to schools for the 'name brand', the ones of my older brothers are still in debt. The ones I knew that stayed back after high school to do cc/live at home before uni, some are making more than those that went to a 'brand name'. Honestly, money wasn't an issue for me, but a lot kids from my school chose cc or a state school because of costs.
     
  11. glen

    glen Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2010
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    70
    Sticker Shock at The Citadel

    Rocketdog01 -

    Good for your sons to be taking majors that they can market after graduation. I can't tell you how important a 3.0 is in today's job market - it is a knockout unless in an engineering specialty.

    While all the other advice in the messages on this topic is worth considering - - there is one factor that you might add the list when considering a small college and especially The Citadel - graduation rates and times. At The Citadel your sons are most likely going to graduate in four years - five at the most. If you read the graduation rates for most colleges and universities they are given as 6 year averages - yes 6 years! So for many parents they are footing a bill at State U that runs on 6 years x whatever the actual cost may be. At The Citadel, the average cadet will do it in four and be out. Just saying - good luck
     
  12. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Messages:
    5,539
    Likes Received:
    837
    If Rocketdog01's son is majoring in Business and is enrolled in ROTC, he would graduate in 4 years no matter what school he attends, unless he drops ROTC. ROTC Cadets/mids are not allowed to take that slow 6 year run in college. Of course there are exceptions with some engineering degrees, but that would be the case at any school.
     
  13. jbsail

    jbsail Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    0
    Agree with JCleppe. One would lose out in ROTC if they wanted to spend more years on the college campus :rolleyes:.

    Not true. The friends I know from State U did it in 4 (pre-med, history, bio, chem, eng, business, and accounting majors). A few took 5 years (engineering majors). Including the friends of friends I met over holiday break that seemed like slackers.
     
  14. Rocketdog01

    Rocketdog01 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2013
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    My son is currently enrolled in AROTC at the Citadel he will have completed his degree in 4 years. He did leave the school in the middle of his sophomore year to a health issue which set him behind a year from graduating with his class. 4 years of ROTC is a requirement for graduation at the school but does not guarantee him a commission into the Army once completed. A lot of his friends from HS that do attend CC or in-state colleges are doing at least 5 years some more. This is definitely a plus for the Citadel they do have a large percentage of Cadets that graduates in 4 years. Our in-state situation will change in about a year; we live in NJ but will be relocating to Florida sometime next year so where would we be considered in-state will change eventually. That is why we were not focusing on any in-state schools at this time.
     
  15. jbsail

    jbsail Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    0
    1. If he chooses an instate, once you move he can stay and live on his own to pay instate.
     
  16. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Messages:
    5,539
    Likes Received:
    837
    Graduating in 4 years is an AROTC requirement at any school, unless they have certain engineering majors.

    I have one question, if a student attends the Citadel and completes AROTC, what would prevent them from commissioning when they graduate.
     
  17. glen

    glen Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2010
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    70
    Sticker Shock

    JBSail

    The young folks you know who are graduating in 4 years are exceptional and should be congradulated. However, I hate to disagree that 4 years is the norm at public colleges and universities.

    I hate to go to statistics – but those young folks you know at big state universities who graduate in 4 years are a distinct minority of students. The US Department of Education statistics for completion rates for bachelor's degree seeking students who enrolled at a 4-year institutions in fall 2004 (latest data available) show that the 6-year graduation rate at private nonprofit institutions was 65 percent, compared with 56 percent at public. Remember these are averages for 6 years! The 4 years rate of graduation is much lower. SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2012). The Condition of Education 2011 (NCES 2012-045). You can see the statistics for your own state at the following website: http://www.higheredinfo.org/dbrowser/?level=nation&mode=graph&state=0&submeasure=27

    The Citadel latest data shows that 62.4% of entering freshmen graduate from The Citadel within four years. The Citadel traditionally has published only 4 year data – not the 6 year data most colleges publish and you see in places like US News & World Report.

    The national average four-year graduation rate at public institutions of higher learning is only about 30%. This means that of all the students who enter as freshmen – and including those who drop out after their first, second, and third year – 62.4% of Citadel Cadets graduate in 4 years compared to 30% at most similar public colleges and universities. By similar I am excluding the Ivy League colleges which traditionally have much higher averages – and of course higher entrance requirements and costs. This 4 year rate at The Citadel compares well though with most private colleges – whose average is 65%. But believe me at a private college you will likely pay much more than $48 grand a year.
     
  18. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Messages:
    5,539
    Likes Received:
    837
    I've read those studies as well, what they don't take into consideration is the student themselves. Whether these students work part time, carry a full load of credits, take a semester off, or fail classes that require them to re-take the classes.

    I think the point is that if a student desires to finish in 4 years they can, as long as they maintain the required class load and don't fail classes.

    Most of this discussion involves students that are ROTC cadets, you can't compare them to the average college student. ROTC does not give the option of taking 6 years to graduate, if a cadet desires to take longer then they will be removed from ROTC. Since this is a board that deals with ROTC cadets the discussion has been taylored to them.

    When I looked at the degree audits for my older son who has already graduated and my younger son who is a sophomore, both went to the same Public University, I can't imagine why one could not graduate in the 4 years. A lot of this has to do with the students decisions, which are not looked at in these surveys.

    What would be a better survey is what the percentage of ROTC cadets that graduate in the 4 years at Public Universities, that would have a lot more to do with this discussion.

    I don't doubt the statistics you posted at all, I'm sure there are more then enough students that stretch out their college careers, just not ROTC students/cadets/mids.
     
  19. glen

    glen Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2010
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    70
    Sticker Shock and Graduation rates

    JCLeppe,

    I am sure students at non-Senior Military Colleges that offer ROTC, and who are in the ROTC classes do graduate in 4 years, but this is because they are on scholarship have to meet the requirements for their particular scholarship. But this subject is not about scholarship ROTC students - its about the cost of The Citadel and whether $48,000 (actually this is a first year cost that includes uniforms, etc) is worth it - for a non scholarship (either academic or military) Cadet. If one is on a scholarship the cost is considerably reduced.

    So the question is value for non-commissioning Cadets. And this was what I was trying to discuss. It really depends on the major (and I think Business or Engineering schools are very much the cost and good value), and the fact that you can pretty much depend on the Cadet graduating in 4 years - compared with the national averages of 30% at most civilian public colleges and universities. Sorry if I did not make myself clear at first.
     
  20. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Messages:
    5,539
    Likes Received:
    837
    Not to beat a dead horse too much....

    It doesn't matter if a ROTC cadet is on scholarship or not, if they want to be in the program and commission, they still need to graduate in 4 years, no matter where they go to school. I can understand a case where a student/cadet not on scholarship might take an extra year before they start their junior year and contract, but if they do while enrolled in ROTC it would be unlikely they would be offered a contract.

    To remain in the ROTC program a non scholarship cadet must adhere to the same requirements as a scholarship cadet, the only thing that is different is that a non scholarship cadet is not required to pass the APFT until they contract their junior year.

    You would be hard pressed to find ROTC cadets, scholarship or not, from any school that did not graduate in 4 years other then some engineering majors.

    If your only talking about Citadel Cadets that do not plan on commissioning then I can follow your reasoning.

    Paying a tuition like this is always going to be a personal decision. For me I would find it very hard to justify, even if a student went to an in state public school and took 5 years to graduate, it would still be a savings of $50,000.00 or more.

    My pesonal feeling has always been, get an undergrad degree at a place you can afford and save the money for the graduate degree at a school of your choice.

    We have no idea how the OP plans to pay this tuition, if they have the means to pay without sacrifice then great. If they have to borrow the money, take it from retirement accounts or savings, or if the student will be saddled with a huge student loan debt that will be with them for years, then I would hope they would think hard.
     

Share This Page