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College Financial Aid Isn't Going to the Neediest

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Replies to: College Financial Aid Isn't Going to the Neediest

  • charlieschmcharlieschm 34 replies2 discussions Junior Member
    Full rides are extremely rare.

    In my kids' experience, many private colleges were willing to offer 50% off tuition merit scholarships if a student was in the top 10 or 15% of their applicant pool. Part of the reason they do this is to compete financially with the honor colleges of the in-state flagship universities.
    edited May 2013
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  • am9799am9799 12 replies2 discussions
    Regarding Tufts:
    In their massive fact book it is stated that 22% of families the receive FA have an income higher then 150K. (page 102)
    I am not sure if that is loans only FA or some direct contribution too. Also not sure of the "amount".
    edited May 2013
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  • bluebayoubluebayou 34 replies0 discussions Junior Member
    "9. Does applying for financial aid hurt my chances of admission?" "Absolutely not! Pomona is one of only a handful of institutions in the nation committed to both need-blind admissions and awarding scholarships and financial aid that meet 100% of the demonstrated need of every admitted student."

    Notice the word "handful".

    That is just Pomona spin, to make themselves look better, but in fact it is not clear. Their statement is correct insofar as it only applies to international students. There truly are only a handful of US colleges that are need-blind and meet full need for internationals.

    OTOH, there are actually several handfuls of colleges that are need-blind and meet full need for domestic students; indeed, there are ~30 such colleges.
    Kind of like the reputation of NYU or Georgetown -- "Okay, you're accepted. Hope you can pay for it."

    Georgetown is one of those 30-40 need-blind, meets-full need colleges. But, like most private colleges, GU calculates your need as they see fit. GU uses home equity as an asset, which reduces financial "need". Stanford (and I believe Pomona) cap home equity in their calculation of need, as do some (many?) of the Ivies. Thus, GU is less generous than the well-endowed colleges.

    NYU does not meet full financial need, and states it clearly on their website.

    Tufts is need-aware, for the last ~10% of their admits.
    edited May 2013
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  • skrlvrskrlvr 20 replies0 discussions New Member
    I have never seen anyone complainng about the lucky poor.

    Well, maybe not said in those exact words, but there is the myth of the 'doughnut hole': that the only families who can afford elite schools like Harvard are those that are very poor, because of the generous financial aid policies, or the very rich, because they have the means to afford full tuition. If you are 'middle class', then the claim is that you don't get financial aid to make it affordable, but you can't pay full tuition.

    There are a number of threads in the Parents Forum which have claimed that only if I didn't work so hard or make money, my kid could go [elite school name here]. Again, not saying that the poor are lucky, but essentially implying that only if I were poor, my kids could go to their 'dream school'.

    Also, there are those threads which complain that 'full pay' families subsidize families who are not full pay.

    In addition, these generous financial aid policies of schools with endowments in the billions is often taken to be the norm for financial aid. The reality is quite different. Most less selective schools with endowments in the millions give way more in merit than they do in need based aid.
    edited May 2013
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  • bluebayoubluebayou 34 replies0 discussions Junior Member
    Well, she was a top student, so "yes" she did apply to a lot of schools that were reach schools for everyone. Also, I don't believe she applied to Pomona or anywhere binding early, because they are strapped financially her parents felt they needed to be able to compare financial aid options to go with the best one. But that's the advice given here on the CC Boards all the time.

    Yup, it is the common wisdom on cc, but there are few of us that disagree with that wisdom. And this is one case. An ED to Pomona might have been a game-changer. Without the ED, she had practically no shot at that college.
    edited May 2013
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  • 2collegewego2collegewego 24 replies0 discussions Junior Member
    "None of the Ivies or NESCACs give merit scholarships, although some have named scholarships as part of their need-based financial aid packages or merit based funds available for things like summer research. "

    Almost but not quite. Trinity offers one full-ride per year (tuition, room, board, books stipend plus summer research) but it's only for Illinois residents so it's quite specific.

    About the Scholarship | Scholarships for Illinois Residents, Inc. | SIRI Website
    edited May 2013
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  • 2collegewego2collegewego 24 replies0 discussions Junior Member
    Bluebayou wrote, "btw: legacy only works if a student ED's. Did she submit an early app to Pomona? If not it is a clear indication to them that they are not her first choice. "

    Is this something you know specifically about Pomona and, if so, where did you hear it? It is *not* true across the board. There are schools that specifically say

    According to Pomona's common data set, interest is not considered and legacy status is.

    http://www.pomona.edu/administration/institutional-research/common-data-set/11-12/C-Admissions.pdf
    edited May 2013
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  • Sue22Sue22 31 replies2 discussions New Member
    ^^^The Lincoln award is an unusual case. It's not actually administered or awarded by Trinity College. Instead it's an award made by Scholarships for Illinois Residents, Inc. an alumni group. While awards are only made to students accepted to Trinity the college does not control this fund. It's not substantially different from other outside scholarships except that the foundation makes awards only to Trinity students instead of students at a range of colleges.

    "A Lincoln Award is contingent upon being accepted and enrolling at Trinity College. Although the award of this scholarship is independent of the College’s own deliberations concerning admission to Trinity or its award of any financial aid, we work closely with Dean of Admissions in evaluating the candidates for a Lincoln Award. To avoid duplication in applying for a Lincoln Award while also applying for admission to Trinity College, applicants for a Lincoln Award need only authorize the College to share and discuss with us the contents of their admissions application file."
    edited May 2013
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  • MerryFLLMomMerryFLLMom 5 replies0 discussions Forum Champion
    This discussion is very interesting. We all love our kids, and we all want the best for them. That is very obvious throughout this thread. The interesting thing about this discussion is that it is very hard for us loving parents to divorce ourselves from some of the frustration and guilt we maybe experiencing from the "sending your kid to college scenario." The facts are the cost of a college education are high. Whether you are talking 20,000 a year or 63,000. Heck I refuse to pay over $25,000 for a car. Yes, some of us are frustrated and upset because we cant give our children what they think they want or what we think they have earned. We personally told our son he could not go to Dartmouth because we didnt feel it was practical to spend $63,000.00 dollars a year on an undergraduate degree. You say why did we let him apply to that school? He has been attending a private college prep high school, on scholarship, for the last 4 years and part of his contract requires him to apply to 5 top tier schools. He also applied to 5 other universities which we knew gave merit based scholarships and one in state public university. He received several merit based scholarship offers from the other 5 universities. All of them at the at the 50% mark approximately. Then he was invited to compete for a full tuition scholarship at one of the private universities. Thank the Lord, he was chosen and will be attending this school in the fall. He was very unhappy with us originally but he is coming around to the idea of going to this new school. Does it bother me that I wasnt financially able to give him what he wanted ? Yes and no. Even if we could write a check for 63,000 dollars and not miss it I dont think I would. There has to be a limit to the raising cost of college. I read the article that start this thread and the author states tuition cost were raising faster than the rate of inflation. Even if you have the foresight to start planning for college before your kids are born there is no way you could keep up. So what do we do? By the way my D graduates next year and she wont be getting merit based scholarships. Help.
    edited May 2013
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  • ace550ace550 5 replies0 discussions New Member
    Yup, it is the common wisdom on cc, but there are few of us that disagree with that wisdom. And this is one case. An ED to Pomona might have been a game-changer. Without the ED, she had practically no shot at that college.

    I agree with you on the 1st part. But, ED to Pomona has risk too. What if the package is not good enough?

    We are more than satisfied with the financial aid offices for one of the top 10 and one of top 20 schools this cycle. The staff members are polite and considerate. The NPC is spot on and in one case DS3 was awarded $4K per year merit aid. We are very grateful even he chose the full ride at our state flagship school with a top program in his major. The state flagship full ride scholarship is very competitive now. The student has a real shot only if he/she has the top stats along with meaningful EC's and awards (individual or small team not the spell bow or knowledge master types) in the state or national level.
    edited May 2013
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  • baseballmombaseballmom 4 replies0 discussions New Member
    Like I said, I have STILL never seen anyone on CC complaining about the lucky poor. Referencing threads without actually referencing them only supports my comment. Someone commenting that full-pays subsidize those on FA is a far cry from viewing the poor as lucky. As someone said earlier on this thread about another story, I'm not buying it.

    Those of us with low six-fugure incomes are used to subsidizing those with less with our taxes and other fees. It doesn't mean we think the poor are lucky. It just means that we fully support our families and many others. We are intelligent enough to recognize this and usually work hard enough appreciate what we have.
    edited May 2013
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 252 replies0 discussions Junior Member
    For a student who is top of the top, and whose parents whose parents have the money according to fin aid formulas to pay for college and therefore gets little or no financial aid, yes, it looks like those kids whose families' finances qualify them for financial aid, and when such kids do get accepted to school that give nice financial aid colleges, are better off than they are. Because in that particular situation, they are. Pure and simply, you are not going to get financial aid if your family doesn't qualify for it, and those kids whose family's do can get money, especially if they are top candidates. Never mind the previous life amenities, at that moment when one kid has a full ride to Harvard and the other is full pay, and family won't do it, the one with that full ride, is sitting pretty.

    How often it happens, is a whole other thing. But that category of kids whose parents won't or can't pay but the numbers say they can, are in a bad situation, in that they do not qualify for financial aid. Same for those whose parents refuse to fill out the forms.
    edited May 2013
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  • bluebayoubluebayou 34 replies0 discussions Junior Member
    I agree with you on the 1st part. But, ED to Pomona has risk too. What if the package is not good enough?

    That's what the financial aid calculators are for. But in any event, if the package is "not good enough", just reject the offer.

    I totally agree that there is a risk, but for a Pomona legacy not to ED, is darn near auto WL. A few years ago, a neighbor -- brightest kid that one will ever meet -- was accepted into every college that he applied, including Y, and full merit money at other Top 20 colleges; his one non-acceptance was Pomona, which was a WL. His dad was a graduate of Pomona, and his grandfather even had a name on a campus building. He applied RD.

    Pomona makes it clear that demonstrated interest is taken into account. And obviously, the reverse must be true: demonstrated dis-interest (by not ED'ing) is also taken into account. Sure, an applicant may wish to compare and negotiate offers, but to a meets-full-need school, that is unnecessary from their perspective.
    edited May 2013
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 252 replies0 discussions Junior Member
    There some schools, Penn is another one, where you have to apply ED to get the legacy edge. They are open about it. But for a family who is looking for the best deal and not want to deal with the angst of trying to find a cost and draw the line there, ED is not the way to go.

    But Pomona is need blind. The young woman was not denied due to need.
    edited May 2013
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  • sybbie719sybbie719 Super Moderator 47 replies0 discussions Junior Member
    One big surprise for us turned out to be a girl who was one of the top students, a true academic powerhouse, near perfect SAT scores, and solid extra-curriculars. But, her high-tech dad had been unemployed for over a year, and they were just scraping by on unemployment plus the mom's part-time salary as a librarian. She wanted a small LAC & applied everywhere, including Ivys, places with good merit aid, colleges her parents had gone to. Guess what? She wasn't accepted at any of them, including Pomona College where her parents were alums. Because it was clear she would need a full ride.

    I agree with the others that students best chance at Pomona would have been though the ED round. Since Pomona has a no loan policy and family was "low income" they really did not have a lot to lose. the worse that would have happened is the package was not feasible and the family would have been released from ED.

    Does applying for financial aid hurt my chances of admission?

    Absolutely not! Pomona is one of only a handful of institutions in the nation committed to both need-blind admissions and awarding scholarships and financial aid that meet 100% of the demonstrated need of every admitted student. These policies enable Pomona to choose its students solely on the basis of educational considerations such as talent, promise, and ability to contribute to the campus community, while removing cost as a barrier to a first-class educational opportunity. In addition, Pomona does not require students with need to take loans in order to finance their educations, ensuring that enrolling students will not accrue debt while attending Pomona.

    http://www.pomona.edu/admissions/apply/frequently-asked-questions.aspx

    Why didn't she apply for Questbridge (Pomona is a questbridge school). Depending on what part of the country is is from pomona is also a Posse partner.

    Parents could have used the net price calculator or contacted Pomona's financial aid office for an early read. If she applied ED and the package was not financially feasible, she could have asked to withdraw.

    why didn't she apply to any financial safeties (that was just reckless not to have a financial safety no matter what the stats were). Sounds like the family did not do their due diligence before applying to schools.
    edited May 2013
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