## Parents Won't Pay for Physics Major

 Diff eq can be useful, but if you have to make cuts, cut math.
For what it's worth, I think this is good advice (despite being a non-specialist in physics). There are always physics books that explain the mathematics better than some of the others, and I think differential equations is the sort of subject that, if you're not exactly a specialist in it, you'll probably pick up as and when you need it. If you are going to specialize in it, obviously an extensive background on the kind of work going on in the field is necessary to make meaningful contributions.

I do recommend attempting to look up the mathematics as you go, though - don't confine yourself to what is presented in a physics book. Supplements can help you feel more confident in what you're working with.

 I think that I do have a lot of the passion, but I've been shoved toward English my entire life because that's what my grandma is into, and because my dad doesn't think that I'm very intelligent and he thinks that English is an easy degree that is more at the level he perceives me to be at than Physics.
Unfortunately, there is somewhat an element of truth (not about your intelligence, but to the philosophy behind the concern) ... for whatever reason, physics is generally a more difficult major to survive than English. This isn't to say that it's necessarily harder to make it in academia (I just don't know, and I'd hardly begin to think it's easy to make it in English academia), but obviously your father wants you to get a job in something or the other as soon as possible and doesn't trust you to go through the years of difficult schooling.

I think you should plan on taking a bit longer than 4 years of college to prepare for your physics PhD, because all said, no matter how much you can accomplish in the upcoming years taking physics, I think a solid 3 years of really focusing mainly on physics is probably crucial for success in graduate school. That means finishing your major and getting exposed to advanced topics.

If not, you should graduate college and add on some coursework as non-degree-seeking-student or something of that nature. Getting into physics PhD is quite difficult, I can only imagine.
 http://www.payscale.com/best-colleges/degrees.asp/ Show your dad that - Physics consistently comes in the top 10 best paying majors/degrees of every list I've seen, both UK and US. That is after averaging the relatively lower pay in academic positions with better remunerated industry or less related (finance, oil) positions.

 Quote by turbo @OP: can you not pay your own way? I came from a very poor family, and by 1969 when I enrolled in college it was quite obvious that I would have to work my way through college - my parents just couldn't have afforded it. There was precious little financial aid awarded back then, perhaps because the Viet Nam war was in full swing, and lots of guys wanted to get student deferments. Still, I managed to work through college and pay my way. It wasn't easy, but it was do-able. My parents could not have done it. They helped as much as they could, but I carried the load.
Ahaha, are you serious?

http://www.fullerton.edu/financialaid/appinfo/cost.htm

Undergraduate Living in Dorm
$24,742 divided by$8/hour
3093 hours
divided by 365 days/year
That's 8.5 hours a day, every day, no breaks, BEFORE taxes. That's working MORE than full time. If you take home 65%, that's $5.20/hour 24742/5.2=4758 hours, or 13 hours a day, every day. Granted, there IS financial aid out there, but that only helps so much...  If you look at it the other way around, lets say he works a reasonable amount a week, like 15 hours/week. 15*8*52=$6240 a year, just short of the "fees" section. Plus books, room, food, board. Then minus taxes.

 Quote by johnqwertyful Ahaha, are you serious? http://www.fullerton.edu/financialaid/appinfo/cost.htm Undergraduate Living in Dorm $24,742 divided by$8/hour 3093 hours divided by 365 days/year That's 8.5 hours a day, every day, no breaks, BEFORE taxes. That's working MORE than full time. If you take home 65%, that's $5.20/hour 24742/5.2=4758 hours, or 13 hours a day, every day. Granted, there IS financial aid out there, but that only helps so much... Well, here's my take on how it works, if you're interested. First off, you should be able to cut those costs down. If money is tight, shop around for the right undergraduate bang for your buck. Many students will do their first 2 years at a community college. Factor in cost of living in the particular city too.$12000 a year for room and board seems pretty steep to me. If that's for an 8 month academic year I could make my mortgage payments and have $200 a month left over for food! Second, ideally you should be working full-time over the summers. Don't start looking in April/May. Try to set something up as early as the previous September. And only accept minimum wage as a last resort or as a stepping stone position (such as research position, or something that's going to lead to a much better wage the following year, or experience that's going to get your foot in the door for a full-time career position). Third, balance that out with part-time work over the year. About 6-12 hours per week is reasonable with a full course load. That's probably not going to get you into the black, but it's a heck of a lot less red than people often complain about. On top of that I recommend looking for scholarships where ever you can find them. In my experience, you are NOT automatically considered for everything you are eligible for just by enrolling in a school and even those$500 bursaries can add up.

Depending on where you're at, I also recommend starting to save early. I had a job when I was 15 years old and a substantial part of what I made went into the bank for university. I'm always surprised at the number of students who don't do this. Another option along these lines is just working full-time for a year after high school.

Finally be very conscious of the amount of money you borrow and make sure you understand the rules for paying it back. Some students look at those figures you've listed and feel they need that full $24k on the first day of school. Don't borrow until you've exhausted all other avenues.  Quote by Choppy Well, here's my take on how it works, if you're interested. First off, you should be able to cut those costs down. If money is tight, shop around for the right undergraduate bang for your buck. Many students will do their first 2 years at a community college. Factor in cost of living in the particular city too.$12000 a year for room and board seems pretty steep to me. If that's for an 8 month academic year I could make my mortgage payments and have $200 a month left over for food! Second, ideally you should be working full-time over the summers. Don't start looking in April/May. Try to set something up as early as the previous September. And only accept minimum wage as a last resort or as a stepping stone position (such as research position, or something that's going to lead to a much better wage the following year, or experience that's going to get your foot in the door for a full-time career position). Third, balance that out with part-time work over the year. About 6-12 hours per week is reasonable with a full course load. That's probably not going to get you into the black, but it's a heck of a lot less red than people often complain about. On top of that I recommend looking for scholarships where ever you can find them. In my experience, you are NOT automatically considered for everything you are eligible for just by enrolling in a school and even those$500 bursaries can add up. Depending on where you're at, I also recommend starting to save early. I had a job when I was 15 years old and a substantial part of what I made went into the bank for university. I'm always surprised at the number of students who don't do this. Another option along these lines is just working full-time for a year after high school. Finally be very conscious of the amount of money you borrow and make sure you understand the rules for paying it back. Some students look at those figures you've listed and feel they need that full \$24k on the first day of school. Don't borrow until you've exhausted all other avenues.
Of course there's way to keep costs down, I'm just saying that you can't just "work your way through it".

I went to community college (transferring in Fall), I'm living off campus with no meal plan (cooking my own meals, WAY cheaper), I plan on getting a job when I move up there (maybe not first quarter, but second one).

There ARE ways to keep costs down, for sure. I agree there. I'm just saying that it's not as simple as "work your way through it", like it was in the 60s. You're going to have to have some help from mommy and daddy, or take out loans, or both. It's nothing to be ashamed of, just the truth.

 Tags college planning, education, parents

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