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How do poor people go to college?

The DavidThe David Posts: 85Registered User Junior Member
Do most mildly-to-moderately expensive colleges lend you enough to get through?
Post edited by The David on
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Replies to: How do poor people go to college?

  • HeavenWoodHeavenWood Posts: 2,062Registered User Senior Member
    Depends on the college.

    But to answer your question...

    They go to state universities, or privates that are a little bit below their "standards" that would hence reward them to attend.
  • DaRareBlackNerdDaRareBlackNerd Posts: 57Registered User Junior Member
    Depending on our grades we don't.
  • JyankeesSS2JyankeesSS2 Posts: 2,021Registered User Senior Member
    If they're brilliant, they get into a top school that awards 100% of need. There are a lot of state universities that award very large merit scholarships as well. There is a university in my hometown that awards URMs very large scholarships if they score a 24 or higher on the ACT. They can definitely find somewhere to go to college.
  • beprepnbeprepn Posts: 829Registered User Member
    There are a large number of schools that meet 100% of need. This may tend to be more comon at the most expensive schools.

    This usually means a combination of loans and working and grants.

    There are a fair number of merit scholarships out there that are given to attract the tippy top applicants. If you're good enough, you can get one to Duke.

    ROTC scholarships should be relatively easy to come by now and I'd expect we'd be war free for a decade or so starting in a few years.
  • aaron12345aaron12345 Posts: 100Registered User Junior Member
    i know carnegie mellon which is about 45k a year will meet 100% of demonstrated need for all Early Decision candidates only.
  • downtown128downtown128 Posts: 197Registered User Junior Member
    If you make under 60k at Harvard, free tuition
  • DaighDaigh Posts: 19Registered User New Member
    beprepn wrote:
    There are a fair number of merit scholarships out there that are given to attract the tippy top applicants. If you're good enough, you can get one to Duke.
    Eh, I wouldn't use Duke as a good example. Very few scholarships cover the entire cost of attendance, and many scholarships are designated for Carolina residents.
    The David wrote:
    Do most mildly-to-moderately expensive colleges lend you enough to get through?
    "Lend" is the key word in that quote. Loans are BAD. Check out the financial aid policies of colleges you're interested in. Are they need-blind? Do they guarantee to meet full need? If they do meet full need, what proportion of the package is loans? What is the average indebtedness of graduates? Do they replace loans if you get outside scholarships?

    The Common Data Set will give you info about financial aid at some colleges.
  • WashDadWashDad Posts: 2,695Registered User Member
    I worked all the time I went to college at the University of California, Irvine. It took seven years but I still finished. Anyone can get a college degree if they are flexible.
  • calmomcalmom Posts: 16,285Registered User Senior Member
    The vast majority of them work their way through college, generally attending community colleges or commuter schools near home, at least to start. Some may work full time for awhile first, to save money for college -- or take part-time class schedules to fit around their work schedules.

    Many people without other financial resources join the military in order to obtain the various educational benefits that come with enlistment -- but that of course is a substantial commitment for the sake of an education.
  • sakkysakky Posts: 14,759- Senior Member
    If you make under 60k at Harvard, free tuition

    Not just free tuition, but also full stipend that pays for all of your living costs, as well as travel and personal expenses. Not only that, but a similar program is available to 'poor' international students too.

    This is one of the most fantastic deals available in all of higher education. For example, I know 2 guys who are California state residents and got into both Berkeley and Harvard, and discovered that Harvard was actually going to be cheaper for them, once financial aid was factored in. Basically,
    Berkeley wanted them to take loans, whereas Harvard provided them with full grants. I will always remember one of them acidly joking that he always wanted to go to Berkeley, but he couldn't afford it, so he had "no choice" but to go to Harvard.

    To digress, the major problem that I see with the financial aid system is that certain people's incomes are highly manipulable. This is especially true if you run a small business. I think most small business proprietors know that you can always manipulate your income flows to make yourself "look" poor for tax purposes, and hence for financial aid purposes (which are largely determined by taxable income). For example, during the years when your kids are going to college, those are the years when you "coincidentally" decide to invest heavily into your business, therefore greatly decreasing the amount of income that your business makes during those years, hence, making you "look" poor and hence qualifying for full financial aid. Then after your children have graduated, you have both an expanded business from all of the investments you made into it, and you didn't pay much to send your children to college. Hence, you have successfully gamed the system. Hence you have the system where some people are getting financial aid despite not really being poor.
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Posts: 24,011Registered User Senior Member
    If you come from a family that meets certain income levels, and you have certain SATs and grades, AND have taken a curriculum that shows you can survive in a rigorous academic environment, there are a number of top schools that are willing to give you a financial package that can get you through, at least financially. They will also be a bit generous in viewing any issues on your academic profile. The problem with all of this, is truly needy kids most often do not know how to procede or even the existance of these possibilities unless there is someone in their lives to guide them. This is the case even with phenomonallly talented kids.

    Those kids who are not of interest to colleges because their academic profile is deficient, AND they have no money, should they decide to pursue higher education, would have to take whatever the government decides to give in loan, grants, etc and go to a local school supplementing the gaps and cost of living with jobs. Some alternatives would be the armed forces and any other situation that would assist with tuition later. Even shop clerk type jobs often have some tuition sweeteners for those who are good employees and have been a round. It is a difficult path for those kids who do not have a family to support higher education.
  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Posts: 17,889Super Moderator Senior Member
    I went to a service academy to afford school. My wife finished up on a combination of loans and work. You do what you have to.
  • easydoesitmomeasydoesitmom Posts: 354Registered User Member
    They commute to a State public college or community college . Most people with EFC's of 0 should go this route anyway because unless you have top stats for a Harvard or Princeton deal ( no loans for low income ) , you will be burdened with a lot of loans ( even subsidized ) .
  • thumper1thumper1 Posts: 34,952Registered User Senior Member
    Back when the dinosaurs roamed, I was from a poor family. My mom was a single mom, and we had very very little income. Going to college meant that I had to WORK...and save my own money. I worked while I was in school, and I worked on EVERY vacation...as many hours as I could. When I was attending school full time as an undergrad, I was also working nights almost full time. I worked for the university, I got free housing for being an RA one year. To put it bluntly, I WORKED. I went to a state university where my costs would be modest. I got a fine education, and after working in my field for two years, I got a full fellowship for graduate school (tuition remission and a salary as a graduate assistant). You know...where there is a will there is a way. If I had had to, I would have worked full time, living at home to save money for college. And yes, I did take out a very small loan. I fully think it is still possible for any student to gain a college education in this country. You can start at a community college, even part time while you work, and live at home.
  • JCampbellJCampbell Posts: 143Registered User Junior Member
    lol @ 'poor people'

    I'm what you'd consider poor, I guess. Our family income is $400-$600 per month. I wasn't a super-student in high school, so I'm going to differ from the norm on College Confidential. All this talk about Harvard isn't geared to the majority of readers on this board, and personally I hope CC moves to a more realistic audience. But moving on....

    At my community college, a Pell grant is enough to cover full time tuition and books.

    I'm about to transfer to a 4-year university, and it will be out of state... this will cost quite a bit more than going in-state, however it is necessary because my major isn't available here or anywhere on the ACM (domestic exchange program for the southeast).

    My tuition will be roughly $12,000 annually with an additional $8,000 in fees and projected expenses.

    Out of those, I will utilize:

    1) courses in community college to transfer over and reduce the courseload
    2) need based aid/grants both federal and state
    3) loans, hopefully only a small amount
    4) need-based aid form the school (a very decisive factor)
    5) federal work-study
    6) scholarships


    While in community college I basically busted my ass. I got a 3.57 to be on the Dean's list and open me up to Phi Theta Kappa, a community college honors society that offers transfer scholarships. I've applied even to have my application fee waived, which also helps.

    A high GPA also helped me in terms of broadening my choices of schools to go to.

    My EFC is $0, so I am considered in "100%" need. However, that does not mean a school that offers need-based aid would award me that. where I plan to go they offer an average of 60% of need if I qualify, however much of that may be in loans and not grants. Another thing to consider when choosing a school is to see how competitive your major is... the less 'popular' it is at the school in comparison to other programs, the more they may want to entice you to enroll.

    So if you try, you can go to school no matter how little you make.

    One last thing I want to say, from someone in the workplace... Go to school to do what you want, don't think about going to a high priced school just because of its name... because in the workforce what matters is what you know, and not where you learned it from.
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