Dear queen13 : Let me share with you some honest data that all entering freshmen should consider. Last year, Boston College reserved an extra 3% of the campus budget to fund additional financial aid awards. Now, on the surface, this sounds like great news, but the truth is that the economic contraction that took place saw many parents unable to fund their full bills and as a result, BC forecast the need for more aid to existing students. Whether that has had an ongoing impact on incoming freshmen remains to be seen.
Next, Boston College has two calculations : the federal EFC and the BC EFC with the second figure being the all important number. This second number includes both your home equity and all savings/assets for you and your parents.
Third, too many folks "ignore" the $50,000 per year price tag and believe that somehow, things will just work out. Basically, if your family has $130,000 per year in income, owns a home in the Northeast United States, and $100,000 in savings/assets, the combination will push you from the financial aid calculation based on recent estimates.
Fourth, Boston College, like many Top 40 schools, has moved from merit-aid and scholarships to need-based programs. This is favoring the family who is renting with an annual income of $60,000 per year for aid. We have often said on College Confidential that the Presidential Scholars Program concentrates too many resources towards too few students, but this has not been the overall position of the university.
Fifth, different schools will provide different calculations based on the final pot of money that the institution has available. While you can appeal your financial aid award and hold the Colgate offer in your hand, your financial aid officer might be willing to talk or might be forced to point you towards Colgate in that case.
In closing, your best course of action is to first approach your financial aid officer with a position that something seems to have been miscalculated based on your input data. This turns the discussion from confrontational to cooperative and sets a framework for a discussion. If needed, you can bring other resources, including the Colgate letter to the table as a last resort.