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Should I Pursue Need-Based Aid if FAFSA is High?

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Replies to: Should I Pursue Need-Based Aid if FAFSA is High?

  • liveluvsushiliveluvsushi Registered User Posts: 18 New Member
    @austinmshauri thank you for clarifying, I was a bit confused at all these federal aid programs. I've run Net Price calculator for the majority of the schools and it looks like I will be paying close to full tuition if I do not get any merit. Is it worth applying for financial aid if the calculator says my expected COA is a few thousand below it's annual tuition?
  • liveluvsushiliveluvsushi Registered User Posts: 18 New Member
    @billcsho The main reason I'm not applying for any ivies is with this in mind; I can't afford to be in 200,000 dollars worth of debt. My parents have money saved up but for their retirement, and I don't expect them to take much out because it's their hard earned money. Most of the schools I'm applying to seem to offer better merit aid than other ones so I hope that I will be able to get some merit with my stats.
  • AroundHereAroundHere Registered User Posts: 2,228 Senior Member
    In your case, it's not worth applying because you're not going to get enough need-based aid to make your budget.

    Are there any CT schools you can attend on a 20K budget, because your list of schools so far doesn't seem very promising. You need a financial safety that is guaranteed dirt cheap. Alabama and other schools in that state are known for generous merit aid. Try state schools in Mississippi, New Mexico, Arizona, South Dakota, too.

    You need to find the freshman scholarship pages and read them carefully. MANY state universities have an early deadline for merit aid, often November 1 or December 1, so you must hurry to find some guaranteed affordable schools. You'll probably want to do honors program apps as well.
  • liveluvsushiliveluvsushi Registered User Posts: 18 New Member
    @AroundHere I would get free tuition at UConn if accepted. Should I also apply for University of Alabama? If it helps, I'm applying Early Action for the following schools: Case Western, UMiami, URochester, UGA, Tulane, UMichigan. I already wrote all of the essays and will submit within the next week.
  • billcshobillcsho Registered User Posts: 16,498 Senior Member
    I did not suggest you to apply to Ivies caliber schools. Indeed, I think you may need to aim lower if you do want/need to get merit aid. Again, ask your parents how much they can afford. Then you will have to shop for a school within budget after merit aid and limited loans. Your parents should not take out retirement saving for your college and neither should you get $200k in debt. EFC and NPC does not tell how much your family can afford.
  • AroundHereAroundHere Registered User Posts: 2,228 Senior Member
    Did any of them have a net price of 20K when you ran the calculator, or did you verify the existence of a scholarship that you are in the running for? An acceptance to a school you can't afford isn't worth much.

    I'm not familiar with all of those, but of the ones I do know, I don't think they're cheap enough.
  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri Registered User Posts: 5,752 Senior Member
    You can only borrow ~$5500/year, so if your parents said they can pay $20k/year your budget is $25k. Ask them to be sure how much they'll pay though. You need a firm budget.

    I'd start by finding a safety -- a school where you know you can get accepted, that's affordable, and that you'd be happy to attend. Does the NPC at the Univ of AL come in under your budget? If UConn does and the admission rate is reasonable (40% or so for a safety), apply there too. Then start looking for colleges whose NPC results are affordable on your budget.
  • mommdcmommdc Registered User Posts: 8,634 Senior Member
    A few years ago a very high stats student applied to Case Western and got some merit, but without need based aid it was still much more than other schools. They also got full tuition at Tulane and Pitt. They took a full ride at U Delaware, and also had a full ride at UCF and WVU if I remember correctly.

    So if you apply to your list of schools they might come in affordable but they might not.

    U Michigan is too much OOS. They meet need but you don't have much need.

    If you are looking at dental school which will be all loans, you need to keep loans low in undergrad.

    So you need a school where your parents' contribution, merit and summer work earnings cover the costs.

    You don't need a highly ranked school. Most state schools have good bio/science programs. If you have AP credit you might be able to graduate with a BS is 3 years.

    UA has changed their scholarships some but with your high stats you might qualify for Presidential Elite.

    So if you want, apply to Tulane, Case and U Rochester.

    Then also apply to Pitt, tOSU, U Delaware, U Conn honors.

    Other possibilities include UA, U Toledo, UCF, WVU.

    @mom2collegekids would OP get a full ride at UAB?
  • suzy100suzy100 Registered User Posts: 4,063 Senior Member
    Have looked at Miami of Ohio? You could get full tuition there, but would have to cover room and board.
  • AroundHereAroundHere Registered User Posts: 2,228 Senior Member
    OP has a safety at UConn. (You're getting that one your first round too, right @liveluvsushi ?)
  • liveluvsushiliveluvsushi Registered User Posts: 18 New Member
    @austinmshauri I am fairly certain that UConn would be a safety for me, looking at their admission stats from my high school. My parents just told me that they have set aside 100,000 total for college, the rest is up to me. If I go to UConn, I would be able to go there for free due to a benefit of my parents profession. As for NPC, I haven't calculated for Alabama but will do when I get home. Thanks for the comment.
  • liveluvsushiliveluvsushi Registered User Posts: 18 New Member
    @mommdc I am looking into a variety of fields in medicine, but dental is one of the main fields I am considering. I'm taking dual enrollment classes at UConn so if need be I can go there to pursue my medical degree as my undergraduate would give free tuition (It'd probably be 11,000 a year for other costs). I was hoping that other schools of similar ranking would give me some merit aid but it looks like the chances are slim. Still, I'll apply to see what happens. Thank you for giving me a list of possible schools; I'll definitely check those out.
  • liveluvsushiliveluvsushi Registered User Posts: 18 New Member
    @suzy100 I haven't considered that college, but I'll definitely check it out. Thanks
  • liveluvsushiliveluvsushi Registered User Posts: 18 New Member
    @AroundHere Not sure what first round means, but yes I think the acceptance rate for UConn is around 50%
  • AroundHereAroundHere Registered User Posts: 2,228 Senior Member
    edited October 11
    You should save that college fund for dental school and just go to UConn. You'll be so glad you escaped the debt trap later.

    I meant you need to get that application in with all the other early apps you listed!
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