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Which school will give the most grant money?

hk0000hk0000 Posts: 52Registered User Junior Member
I've already run my numbers through all of their financial aid calculators, however, as it is well known, these calculators merely tell the maximum amount of aid that the school may give, and not the actual amount the school will give. I looked at some other statistic websites as well which tell how much of a student's need is met by the university, however, these are flawed because some of the universities count loans as part of "meeting financial need". Obviously, in most cases some sort of loan will be necessary to pay off a college tuition however, I am interested in which of the following schools will provide the most grant money/scholarships to me (essentially how much "free" money can I potentially get).

University of Michigan -I have heard that they are notoriously cash strapped and don't really offer much in terms of grants and scholarships. Also, I am an In-state student.

University of Chicago
Brown University
Washington in St. Louis
Rice University


I haven't been admitted to all these schools yet (I got UofM's acceptance letter yesterday :D Chicago's comes on monday -_-). However, I just wanted an overview of which school would give the most financial aid out of these schools (seeing as how financial aid calculators aren't the most reliable thing). Any insight or personal experiences would be extremely welcome!

Notes:
Act- 34 (composite and superscore)
SAT- 2170
Other: pretty good head start on my potential major in math, I'm already done with multivariable calc and will be taking linear algebra. Taken a total of 9 AP classes (including ongoing ones)

Thanks for any help!
Post edited by hk0000 on
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Replies to: Which school will give the most grant money?

  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 59,741Registered User Senior Member
    I thought that UMich promises to "meet need" for instate students.

    What is your likely FAFSA EFC?

    What it your likely institutional CSS Profile "family contribution"?

    The bottom 3 most likely would be the most generous....that's my take.
  • hk0000hk0000 Posts: 52Registered User Junior Member
    EFC is around 18k-19k. Same or similar thing on the CSS I do believe.

    Yea because of that, the aid I could get at UofM is pretty low and pretty much comes all in loans. Also, my family could potentially have 3 people in college next year.
  • WaverlyWaverly Posts: 2,669Registered User Senior Member
    If the 3 people are you and your siblings, that would really help at most of your schools. if they're parents or other relatives, they won't count.

    All of your schools meet need (other than UM, which I don't know about) but none are among the most generous schools. It's unlikely that your FAFSA and Profile EFCs are the same, that's very rare.
  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Posts: 17,855Super Moderator Senior Member
    If some of those people on college are in graduate school they probably will not count. I agree it's rare for the FAFSA and Profile EFCs to be the same.
  • hk0000hk0000 Posts: 52Registered User Junior Member
    sry just ran my numbers through the calculator on cb and i got about $21k using the FM method and $21.5k using the IM method for my EFC.

    @Erin's dad: my mistake then, its only 2 people going to college.
  • hk0000hk0000 Posts: 52Registered User Junior Member
    any other opinions?
  • CountMonteCristoCountMonteCristo Posts: 504Registered User Member
    Each of the colleges has a net price calculator. Have you used any of them? I think they would give you the beast idea of how much financial aid you might receive from each.
  • hk0000hk0000 Posts: 52Registered User Junior Member
    ^lol ik they all have an NPC. I already mentioned that in my OP. The problem is that those only give a best-case scenario estimate and aren't always extremely accurate so I was hoping to get some more personal insight from people who have experience with the FA at those schools
  • CountMonteCristoCountMonteCristo Posts: 504Registered User Member
    Your post states that you used financial aid calculators, not net price calculators. Most, if not all, of these calculators are new this year so any real life experience will, at this point, be limited to those who have been admitted early this year. Hopefully some of those admitted early will reply to this post because I am also interested in how accurate they are. How do you know that the NPCs only give a best case estimate?
  • static75static75 Posts: 904Registered User Member
    Universities are a lot more likely to give you large sums of grant money if they want you and NEED you in the freshman class. Usually, the lower tier the university OR the more you are a minority among the class, the more grant money you MIGHT get offered. It's all super subjective though. Financial aid is a strange, monstrous art.

    I heard UMich in-state students get quite a chink of change to work with. You might get lucky though. Everywhere else though... :/

    If your EFC is around 18k though, I'm guessing in theory, you are able to cover some expenses, and money isn't a humungous problem for you. I would suggest appealing and negotiating and telling universities what others are offering you, etc. :P I kind of wish I tried that. I'd always still go to NYU-Poly, and I don't regret that at all, but almost just out of curiosity. To know what could have been possible.
  • hk0000hk0000 Posts: 52Registered User Junior Member
    @CountMonteCristo: from stories and research I've found that most people do not get the money that the NPC's say they will get.

    @static75: would that really work? lol. Because if it does that would be amazing. Well Uofm instate students have a net cost of like $25k or so which is about 20k off the tuition for out of state students. However, considering how close to my EFC that is UofM is prolly only gonna give me loans, which means that it would potentially be the same if I went to an out of state private school which could give me a fair amount of grant money. While I wouldn't say that my family is extremely needy, like any middle class family, having two kids in college is an extremely crushing financial burden :/
  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys Posts: 11,238Registered User Senior Member
    UofM does say they "meet need" for instate but they also use the Profile so "they" determine your need.
    As demonstrated on these two applications, the university meets the full financial need of all Michigan resident undergraduates who meet the deadlines for applying for aid

    I think they do include the $5500 federal direct as part of that "meeting need" and may also include work study.
  • 2collegewego2collegewego Posts: 2,583Registered User Senior Member
    Your question is interesting because you ask who will give you the most grant money, not which school will be cheapest. I've never seen anyone care about who will give them the most $ when another school will be cheaper! (Well, maybe except those schools that boast, 'Our students received X-dollars in scholarships this year' and include need-based grants!) Michigan will probably give you the LEAST amount of grants because you don't seem to have much need because of the lower instate costs. The other schools will likely give you more. Does Rice still have a no loan policy and do you fit their criteria?

    No one can predict exactly what the schools will give you. Even if all the schools 'meet need,' every single one will determine students' need differently and they may vary in specific criteria that affects you but not someone else (e.g. how they consider more than one in college). Michigan may still turn out to be cheaper because of lower travel expenses and perhaps AP credit that may shave off an additional semester.
  • hk0000hk0000 Posts: 52Registered User Junior Member
    Are Rice and WUSTL generous with merit-based scholarships?

    Because the other listed universities definetly are not.
  • sybbie719sybbie719 Posts: 16,630Super Moderator Senior Member
    Keep in mind that no one here is going to be able to give you an accurate answer because no one here is privy to your whole financial picture. Each school determines what your demonstrated need is and I have yet seen the exact same package from 2 different schools.


    The financial aid calculators and net price calculators are only as good as the information that you are putting into them. In addition, many only give calculations based on people having a straight forward financial picture.

    Are both of your parents still married to one another?
    If not, do you have stepparents?
    Is your primary home the only property that your family owns?
    Do both of your parents work?
    Do you or your siblings have bank accounts?
    Do either of your parents run their own business?
    Does your family own a farm?
    Are your parents contributing money to a 401K

    The answer to any of these questions can change your financial aid picture.

    Sit with your parents and the 2010 tax forms and do the fafsa4caster Home - FAFSA on the Web-Federal Student Aid the information from the FAFSA4caster can be uploaded to the FAFSA (when you file january 1), your parents can click will file and then change the numbers when they actually file their taxes.

    What the FAFSA will do is determine your eligibility for federal aid. Then they need to take their tax information and plug it into the net price calculators to see what the numbers look like.

    Before you start talking about "free money" see if your parents are going to be comfortable paying their EFC. If they are not, then they may have to borrow money to make this work.

    Every school on your list will have loans in your financial aid package unless your family's income is less than 100k (Brown), 75k (Chicago) 60k (Wash U) 80k (Rice).

    Project on Student Debt: Financial Aid Pledges
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