Are Ivy League Schools Worth the Price?

If your child received a scholarship to attend a state school and was also accepted to an Ivy League school, which one would you choose?

A mom posed this question to Washington Post columnist Michelle Singletary. Here is what Singletary had to say:

I think you stand your financial ground. You are right. She’s young and irresponsible and likely sees that Ivy League school much like she sees brand-name jeans. It’s a must have.

But that’s not true. You can live a great life and get a fulfilling job without going to a brand-name school. I just don’t get this thinking our culture has passed on to young folks that college is worth the cost at any price tag.

It’s not. And I have dozens and dozens of e-mails, letters and testimonies from broke college graduates who are struggling financially that prove otherwise.

I wouldn’t turn down a scholarship to a good school. In fact, I didn’t. I got a full scholarship to my state school, the University of Maryland at College Park. Initially I didn’t want to go. My preference was to go out of state, but my grandmother would have none of that. Big Mama was right. I received a great education and ended up working at the Post alongside colleagues from Ivy League schools, and my path to the paper wasn’t any harder than theirs.

Stick to your word and if she wants to borrow the amount of money it takes to get through an Ivy League school without a scholarship or grant, let her be hardheaded and spend decades trying to pay off that debt. Let her take the hit and experience the consequences of her decision. As Big Mama used to say: “A hard head will make for a soft behind.”

LOL! I love that last line. Do you agree?


Should the Rich Get Scholarships?

FOX Sports recently had an article on how Jeff Jordan, the son of legendary basketball player Michael Jordan, will probably return to play b-ball at the University of Illinois in Champaign. This is the sentence in the article that set off a firestorm in the comments: “Jordan walked on at Illinois before winning a scholarship last year.”

Here is a taste of the comments:

I have 3 kids in college. The State of Illinois has greatly diminished the amount of MAP grant money that is available to deserving students, and this has made it extremely difficult for many students to continue in college at this time. My kids are struggling through with student loans that will be debts for them for years to come because they will be in moderate paying jobs TEACHING!  Yet Jeffrey Jordan, son of the mega-rich Michael, get a full scholarship to U of I. And then the NBA will draft him and he’ll get mega bucks too.  I don’t get it at all. And if he’s not playing basketball at this time, why is the scholarship in effect?  I find this DISGUSTING and a real slap to the face of the students out there who have to work in University cafeterias and bookstores to pay their way through school. Jeffrey Jordan didn’t even attend a public high school – he went to Loyola Catholic Academy in Wilmette – but now the taxpayers of Illinois are footing his bill for college? Get real – this whole system is so broken. And then Governor Quinn and tons on other state officials go spend a ton of money to go to Copenhagan for the Olympics bid, and the college students lose their MAP Grant money.  This state is so messed up. We are in a budget CRISIS of m****ive proportion, and Jeffrey Jordan gets a full ride to U of I. Here’s how to fix the state financial crisis – give scholarships on to people in financial need, stop spending taxpayer money on foolish trips for politicians, and stop handing out LINK cards to SO many people who are driving brand new Cadillacs and $60,000 SUV’s that don’t deserve them….

Are you serious? Please tell me I read that right. He “won” a scholarship? This kids dad could pay the tuitions for every player on the team and not even blink and they award this kid a scholarship that could have gone to a kid who doesn’t have a silver spoon in their mouth?

There were a lot of similar comments. But there were a few folks who defended the rights of rich people to pay less in taxes and earn scholarships as opposed to those folks on “entitlement programs.”

Yes the rich pay more than there share.  Last time I looked the USA was a capitalist country.  Those who complain about the wealthy are usually ignorant socialists.  If you don’t like Capitalism, move.  Go live in Russia.  As you tax the wealthy more they will find ways to lower their income to avoid the tax, along with donate less money to charity.  So tell me Sammers, what do the wealthy get for paying more taxes?  Does their vote count for more?  You need to turn your attention away from the wealthy and start looking at the people abusing entitlements.  That is where the problem truly lies.

“Sammers” did respond:

If you think the filthy rich pay their share of taxes, think again -long and hard. The top 10 % only pay 75 % of the taxes in America.They own 99% of the wealth. This means that the people with only 1% of the money and wealth pay 25% of the taxes. Shouldn”t the 99 percenters pay 99%. On top of that by the government’s own word 75 percent of the corporations in the USA paid $0 in corporate taxes in 2007. Now you see why most of us are hurting?

Whew! It is definitely an interesting read.

Initially, my reaction to the news was “meh.” I was not surprised Jordan was a good enough player to receive a scholarship and the university is probably banking on his name to sell tickets to the games. In this economy, you can’t fault them for that.

But I never considered how it would look to the many working families in the U of I system struggling to pay their bills. What do you think? Should the children of rich people like the Jordans receive full-tuition scholarships?