Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Affording the Ivies

I don't know whether it's entirely connected to the economy, but I've been struck by the announcements I've received recently from fellow Cornell alums whose children have gotten into college. Bates, Lehigh, Connecticut College--nice schools, but what can it mean that of all of my CU crowd, only one has sent a child here? Could it be that our Ivy League education didn't prepare us for the earning power we'd need to send our children to the school we attended?

CU's bursar's website states that current undergrad tuition is $36,300 in endowed colleges vs. $20,160 for NY residents attending state colleges. That does not count fees, housing, dining, etc.

O, of course, insists that she WILL attend Cornell. That gives us five years to figure out how that might happen. Tuition seems to be rising at around 4-5% annually, meaning that we'll be looking at around $48,000+ per year by the time she matriculates.

Meanwhile, it seems to be a no-brainer that everyone who holds a mortgage should refinance now that interest rates have dropped so far--not as far as the federal rate would lead you to expect, but certainly enough in our case to save tens of thousands over the life of the loan.


billie said...

I'm sure money does have something to do with it, however, it might also have to do with the dumbing down of a K through high school education in America.

I may very well be wrong, but I think Cornell gets about nine applicants for every one undergraduate opening.

Also, there are quite a few very bright students, many with the money, from other countries who apply to Cornell (and they may be children of Cornell alum too).

KAZ said...

Billie's quite right in one respect--the Ivies have gotten more stringent in their entrance requirements. I doubt very much whether the entire gang I knew back in the '70s could get into Cornell today--which isn't about dumbing down of K-12 but rather about how many people go to college nowadays and what that means to the requirements for getting into the top tier of colleges. And the point about students from overseas is correct, too.