All about College!

Very wise !

You get the home now. For MIT/Berkeley, get the loan (even 6.8%), but put him to the college of his choice. In few years, you will have nice HELOC (by home appreciation), take it and pay off his loan (if you like).

You are achieving both.

It is really hard to do, but can be done.

Without knowing this strategy/plan, I did exactly the same. It was totally unplanned for me.

There are plenty of chances your kid may get some kind of assistance/work income. I have given this in separate 529 thread.


I’ve been wondering about this… Plus if he were local, I’d save on housing costs.

So back to the original question: Which UC/Calstate has the best CS program for someone who just wants to do software development?

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I would suggest him/her to live on their own place. Not live with you, if possible.

If just SWE, you really don’t need much fancy. I learned software my own, school did not provide any extra knowledge/wisdom for that. In fact, i personally prefer people doing that over people learning at school.

My husband agrees, but I’m not going to pay someone else’s rent if he’s at Stanford. It is one reason to prioritize buying a duplex though. More than happy to have him in the other half and he can get some buddies to pay to live with him.

It’s less about that, more about freedom. Mothers are caring, at that age, they dislike being cared.

Jewish mothers?

Who is jewish? I think most mothers are caring.

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Is student loan interests really 7%? That seems very high. If I remember right you can’t even get away from it in bankruptcy.

Mine’s actually fine with it. In fact, he got upset when I tried to ignore him at a church teen retreat when dropping off dinner. He’s a bit unusual. But very trustworthy so I’ve no problem giving him space.

Bigger deal is whether he’d still have to share a room with his brother. I think he’d need his own space for studying.

Yup. But doesn’t start accruing interest until you graduate or drop out.

I think college is different, college life is different - especially in the us.

I lived with my parents at undergrad, but boy, as soon as i started masters in US at my own place, not having a caring mother within shouting distance was quite a relief.

  • When i am sick, i heal shortly. Thus, I don’t care much about what i am doing but she does.
  • When i worked hard and pull couple all-nighters, I am fine, i make up for it by sleeping longer couple days later. She literally cried when she saw this happening when she visited. At that prime age, very little things can break your body, but not for mothers.

Maybe my mother was unique, but somehow i feel they are not - they seem to be caring a lot.

It’s not about trustworthiness in most sense. It’s just more freedom, doing things without thinking about you.

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Other than Berkeley, all UCs are almost same, put him near to you so that at times you can rush and help. If UCs are not there, the put near by Calstate for the same reason. I did not ask my kids to apply for out of bay area.

My kids had 6 to 7 times met with bike accidents, 3-4 times lock outs, few time fever or some health issues…lot of personal care is needed from parents. Putting him near to you will help. Otherwise, you will spend lot of Air-tickets, more worries too. They stay alone, will have lot of stress, sleeplessness…etc. Parents care will help them, it really worked for us. Few of my friends did the same.

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Jil - are you born-american?
I think Terri is ?

I am curious how different you guys see things.

(now a difference with what you said vs what i am saying is 4 years difference after undergrad, so probably it is different haha)

Jil - are you born-american? ==> No, why? Immigrant, came though H1B/IT.

I am curious about cultural difference. For example, where i came from, people travel less (except for vacation purposes), and the city i came from got all the immigration from the rest of the country. In US people tend to travel much more, with more diverse set of regions.

Same goes for education - what i have seen is almost everyone i met in the US schools were coming from all over the country - so they most certainly did not have their parents around.

I am US born. I left for MIT and didn’t know anyone. I was a mature kid, and getting there I lost a lot of that maturity. It’s not been until now that I’ve realized how tremendously stressful a change like that is.

I think there’s good and bad with living at home… The best would be for him to stay local and move into a dorm, but if I’m footing the cost, there will have to be compromises. Maybe if he’s at UCB, we could find a studio for him to stay in, but if at Stanford, no go unless he gets a lot of scholarships.

Every mother is different. Every kid is different. I couldn’t wait to leave mine and go to college. She was authoritarian. My brother couldn’t wait to leave either–he didn’t wait until college–he ran away in high school. My relationship with my mother is fine now–because she can’t spank me anymore–but back then there was no friendship.

My son and I have a really good relationship. He’s probably the kind of kid who would call every week because he wants to, not because it’s expected. I understand that I need to give him space, but I also have to respect his maturity. Some kids don’t go through that “I don’t want to be hugged phase” because they don’t feel the need to rebel. I think he’s that kid. I let him be himself. And because he’s an awesome kid, it’s pretty easy to give him freedom because he always uses that freedom wisely. I keep thinking he’s going to enter that “don’t want to be hugged phase”, and when I say things to probe his feelings, he gets insulted that I’d think that. So I just have to take him at face value that he’ll tell me what he wants.

We’ll just have to see. Maybe an ADU, maybe a separate entrance to his bedroom. But we’ve sacrificed for him to go to a private middle school. If he stays for high school, that’s more sacrifices. But when it comes time for college–he’ll have to be the one making the sacrifices. And staying with us might be one of them. Life’s not going to get handed to him on a platter. He understands that there are tradeoffs, that frugality is the way to wealth, and that there is no perfect solution.


I do not know your full economic situation, but something i just thought of was maybe you can give that decision to him - with a slight twist: Live with us and we will put that money in an IRA or investment account for you available for you to use after you graduate, or live without us, and you get nothing except free rent.

I think living with friends might be a good idea - at least it would fit me really well back in the day. I was always responsible, and very soft-mannered, I had no issues with mom except for the times she decided to make me do things i don’t wanted to do at the time - you know those small things i mentioned above. Also she wanted me to get phd but i bailed out on that rather fast : ) I wish i didn’t do masters at the time either, but oh well.

Now if your economic situation will be a bit tight, then there’s nothing wrong with having the kid live with you. But if he’s the SWE type, he’ll most certainly be able to pay back any loans he has very short amount of time (not that he should do it fast, but he could).

Also if he’s swe type, he should most certainly try entrepreneurial stuff with friends,
I know i am obsessed with this somewhat, but i think theres’ a long term benefit with that. If your son is not that type (did you talk about this kind of stuff before?), you can be most certain that with the financial things you learned - he’ll do very well in life as a tech employee - no question about that. My biggest regret with my family is they had a boring middle-class life with their income (nothing wrong with that), so i didn’t get much of a financial education myself, so i started a bit later than i normally could.

We keep talking about paying back loans. But can we/he get them in the first place? I thought there were threads–couple years ago maybe–about having difficulty getting college loans because people had housing loans and reached their max DTI. Presumably we will also have housing loans close to max DTI–loans at most 3 years old, so not much time for DTI to adjust. Yet I’m betting need based fin-aid is out of the question. So is it even possible for our family–we’d have to co-sign right?–to get a loan for $50K/yr?

And how much does an intern make over the summer anyways (here in the Bay Area)?