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Cost of education

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Cost of education

Postby Oyaji » Sat 12.08.2007 11:58 am

Earlier this week our oldest son received notification that he has been accepted into the Architecture program at Kyushu Sangyo University. Generally university entrance exams are given in the late winter, early spring, but he was admitted by "special recommendation" (特別推薦) because he placed second in an architectural design/drawing contest sponsored by the university - he has studied Architecture for three years at a technical high school.

He did have to take a perfunctory entrance exam, which consisted of an interview in which he was asked two questions: "Why did you choose KSU?" and "What are your goals?", and we had to pay the 38,000 yen exam fee.

Needless to say we are thrilled by the news, but our excitement was a bit tempered by the bill for 1,375,000 yen for admission fees, one year's tuition, and other various fees, that was included with the notification. (KSU is a private university; national universities are considerably less expensive.) This surprised us because supposedly he had won a four-year, full-tuition scholarship in the contest, so the bill was 780,000 yen - one year's tuition - more than we had expected. Reading the fine print we found out that we have to pay the full amount up front, and we will be reimbursed the amount of the scholarship at a later date. :|

He is planning on living in a dorm his first year, so that should keep living costs down a bit, but we're still looking at at least 60,000 yen a month.

Added to this, our second son will be entering high school in the spring, which means about 200,000 initially, and 12,000 a month - assuming he goes to a public school. Our third son is just a year behind him.

We definitely won't be spending much time on the beaches of Maui for the next several years, but we will pull this off somehow. If worst comes to worst, among us we have five healthy kidneys we can spare. ;)

And the government wonders why young couples don't have more children.
Last edited by Oyaji on Sat 12.08.2007 12:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Cost of education

Postby hyperconjugated » Sat 12.08.2007 2:15 pm

For a comparison, I'll tell you few experiences about Nordic
wellfare-state model (in Finland).
Education in itself is free, from kindergarten to Ph.D. Regarding university students for example, the only thing they have to pay is (usually) annual fee to the students' union and student health care fee (in my case, totals about 60 euros every year.) Goverment also hands out student benefits (in my case about 400 euros every month during school terms, thats september-may) for total of about 55 months, that makes about 5-6 years, something that it usually takes to graduate from university. The only money to come up for the cost of living; rent, food, transit, fun&games, maybe school books(use libraby, free)...
My monthly student benefits cover my rent (i live in student flat--cheap!) and after that I'm still left with "free" money to spend on food and bus ticket etc. Generally speaking, most student still need to work part-time, work during summer, take student loan or borrow from parents if they want to live and eat something else than tuna and macaroni (I usually work during summer).

Here, everyone who passes entrance exam, should be able to study, at least economically; student loans are very cheap and available for everyone (few students these days actually take the loan, they rather use some of the other ways i mentioned before). All this "free" education is of course not free; we pay high taxes and use progressive taxation. That's the other side of the coin. However, this is something that has brought good results (educationwise) in our country.

Strangely, now that I think about it, the only place that might put financial burden on parents is high school (not part of mandatory education, though) where book publishers come up with new expensive course books every year, a big scam IMO.

Oyaji wrote:
And the government wonders why young couples don't have more children.

We have same problem here and the "free" education didn't solve it ;) Among young educated people we don't have much unemployment, rather lot of part-time occupations. So our people feel insecure about their jobs and the employers like to force feed part-time contracts one after another, after another... (illegal, but loopholes are abundant). So kids don't want to have kids, even their first one, until they're in stable situation.
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RE: Cost of education

Postby Shirasagi » Sat 12.08.2007 2:39 pm

Well, おめでとうございます, for what it's worth! (Not enough, I know!)
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RE: Cost of education

Postby Hatori » Sat 12.08.2007 4:11 pm

This scares me much. It's hard to think of when I hit junior or senior year and have to make many college preperations.
Anyway, my cousin's best friend is Japanese and her parents immigrated here long ago, so schooling was greatly emphasized in her family. Then when we went to U of I her mom had to open a second morgage on their house. That hurts for anybody who has to pay for schooling!
我是老师。我是老师。我是老师。我是老师。我是老师。我是老师。我是老师。
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RE: Cost of education

Postby Mike Cash » Sat 12.08.2007 8:24 pm

The cost of education is not nearly so high as the cost of ignorance.
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RE: Cost of education

Postby AJBryant » Sat 12.08.2007 8:46 pm

Preach it, brah.


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RE: Cost of education

Postby Wakannai » Sat 12.08.2007 11:08 pm

If I had a dollar for every time I heard a trite empty phrase.

Ignorance costs nothing.

People can talk out of the sides of their mouths all they want denying the facts. When I say I can't afford insurance, they give me the "you can't afford not to have insurance" spiel." As if I could take these empty words and spend them as cash on an insurance policy, or as if money I didn't realize I had would spontaneously appear allowing me to get insurance. When I say I can't afford a better education, they give me the "you can't afford not to have an education" BS stick.

Opportunity cost, and yes I know what it is, is not a financial loss, it is a loss of opportunity. People confuse the two, but if I lose an opportunity, no one is taking money away from me that I can't afford to be without. If you can't afford insurance, a hole in the dirt is a LOT cheaper. If you can't afford education, Looking in your empty pocketbook isn't going to coax a teacher out from under your bed.

Ultimately, these "you can't afford not to" speeches are nothing less than veiled mockery of poor people. It would be more polite and productive to point at their face and laugh inform them how you're a better person than them because you have more money than they do.
Last edited by Wakannai on Sat 12.08.2007 11:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Cost of education

Postby Igirisu_gaz » Sat 12.08.2007 11:29 pm

Firstly, congratulations to your son. I hope he does very well.


Secondly,

Oyaji wrote:


And the government wonders why young couples don't have more children.


Indeed so. Something I've been saying for a long time now. For a country that has a serious greying population issue and is practically pleading with young women to be "baby making machines" I am at a loss as to where the government are helping out with this. I certainly don't see a whole lot of effort going into supplementing the cost of bringing up children in an increasingly expensive environment.
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RE: Cost of education

Postby Hatori » Sun 12.09.2007 12:15 am

Mike Cash wrote:
The cost of education is not nearly so high as the cost of ignorance.

As I said...
Hatori wrote:
That hurts for anybody who has to pay for schooling!


(Why must you pick on me, of ALL days? Friday and today have been possibly the worse days of my life.)
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RE: Cost of education

Postby spin13 » Sun 12.09.2007 12:24 am

Wakannai wrote:
... you're a better person than them because you have more money than they do.


Actually, I'm pretty sure that's how it works. No?

The cost of education is not nearly so high as the cost of ignorance.
Last edited by spin13 on Sun 12.09.2007 12:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Cost of education

Postby Mike Cash » Sun 12.09.2007 1:04 am

Wakannai wrote:
If I had a dollar for every time I heard a trite empty phrase.

Ignorance costs nothing.


Ignorance is something you pay for on the installment plan, whether you ordered it or not.

And you're confusing "education" with "paying money to attend school". Some of the most ignorant people I have ever met have been college graduates who paid money to attend school.

Ultimately, these "you can't afford not to" speeches are nothing less than veiled mockery of poor people. It would be more polite and productive to point at their face and laugh inform them how you're a better person than them because you have more money than they do.


I don't have a formal education beyond high school, live payday-to-payday, have months where I don't make it that far, drive a piece of crap car that cost me $500 because it was all I could get, and consider anybody with half a tank of gas to be rich. So if you're going to let protrude that class envy stick that's up your ass, don't wag it in my direction.
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RE: Cost of education

Postby Shirasagi » Sun 12.09.2007 2:46 am

The cost of education is not nearly so high as the cost of ignorance. OTOH, ignorance is bliss, and you can't buy happiness. It's a volatile market.
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RE: Cost of education

Postby Oyaji » Sun 12.09.2007 11:43 pm

Well this thread went in an unanticipated, though interesting direction.

We certainly don't consider ourselves wealthy, and I will not be leaving my children much of an inheritence, but I am in a position to provide them with an education. As Mike indicates, I am actually only paying for them to go to school, and that alone will neither make them educated nor any more intelligent. I trust (hope) that they will use the intelligence they have to make their educations meaningful.

The thing that has surprised me the most is how the scholarship is handled. I had assumed that the amount of the tuition would simply be deducted from the total to begin with - I should have realized that things just don't work that way here. I imagine it works something like this: The accounting department collects full payments, no exceptions, from all incoming students. The scholarship department, or perhaps the Architecture department, requisitions the amount for scholarships, which it then distributes. Rumors are we won't receive the reimbursement until July.

High education costs is certainly not the only factor causing young people in Japan to have fewer children, but it is often listed as a major reason in surveys, and is something I certainly think needs addressing. Even the way the scholarships are handled could be done differently to decrease the burden on students and their parents.
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RE: Cost of education

Postby Wakannai » Mon 12.10.2007 12:36 am

The thing that has surprised me the most is how the scholarship is handled. I had assumed that the amount of the tuition would simply be deducted from the total to begin with - I should have realized that things just don't work that way here.


Yea, I know the feeling. When I was in the navy I paid for the GI bill. When I got out, I found out it was a reimbursement program, so I had to come up with the money FIRST then they would pay me. That little caveat kept me from taking full advantage of the plan before the time limit ran out.

I now have half the credits I need for a Associates degree in Business. And I'm stuck in limbo. Right now I'm studying up to try to pass the math placement so I don't have to take 4 semesters of pre-requisites for the Business Calculus course. If all goes according to plan, I might be able to finish the degree this (next) year, only 15 years after I graduated.
Last edited by Wakannai on Mon 12.10.2007 12:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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