Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community polls, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

Top Schools With Good Financial Aid??

domer16domer16 Posts: 116User Awaiting Email Confirmation Junior Member
edited August 2010 in Financial Aid & Scholarships
Could anyone let me know which of the top 25-30 colleges offer the best financial aid? (My income bracket is at the low end of 100K - 150K). I would also like to know which ones would offer me the best merit aid. If my academic record is needed for this, click on the link below. Thanks in advance! :)

http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/duke-university/967446-chance-me-duke-please.html
NOTE: please ignore the fact that this is a chance thread...I just did not want to retype all of my stats :)
Post edited by domer16 on
«1

Replies to: Top Schools With Good Financial Aid??

  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Posts: 19,582Super Moderator Senior Member
    Here are the colleges that meet full financial need: College Explorations: Colleges Committed to Meeting Full Financial Aid of Admitted Students As expected most of the top schools do (HYPSM among others). Harvard and Yale have among the most generous aid. Those schools do not tend to award merit aid. Any chance you will be a NMF?
  • GardnaGardna Posts: 1,013Registered User Senior Member
    Ivy Leagues never offer any merit aid, but I know that Harvard's financial aid policy is very generous even to people with six-figure incomes.
  • BillyMcBillyMc Posts: 7,753. Senior Member
    ^ Yes, assuming typical assets (high home equity and lots of retirement money can't hurt you, but not having a lot of either can help you), Harvard's policy is as follows:

    For family's with incomes of $60,000/year or less, no contribution is expected. For those making $120,000-$180,000/year, 10% of income is the expected contribution. For those making between $60,000/year and $120,000/year, the percentage of income paid declines from 10 to 0 from $120,000/year to $60,000/year.

    So if your family income was $150,000/year, the standard expected contribution by your family to your education would be $15,000/year. If it was $100,000/year, it would be less than $10,000/year (probably in the range of around $7,000-$9,000/year).

    Naturally, special circumstances could alter this (i.e. several children in college simultaneously, massive unpaid medical debts).
  • thumper1thumper1 Posts: 37,029Registered User Senior Member
    if your family income was $150,000/year, the standard expected contribution by your family to your education would be $15,000/year.

    This is assuming "typical assets" whatever that means. If you have 1/2 a milliion dollars or more sitting in a regular bank account or have significant other assets (second homes, rental properties, large investments, etc), your aid to these generous schools will be adjusted accordingly.
  • boomieboomie Posts: 336Registered User Member
    Harvard, Princeton and Yale have very generous need based aid. Although other factors come into play, essentially one pays about 10% of gross income up to $180K max at Harvard and Yale and $200K max at Princeton. Not sure the other ivies are quite as generous.
    Other colleges known for good aid are:
    Washington University in St. Louis
    Rice
    USC
    Tulane
    Vanderbilt
    Duke
    Swarthmore
    University of Pittsburgh
    University of Miami


    I am sure I left out some. There are lots of older posts that cover this same topic. If you search for older posts, you should be able to come up with a good list.
  • BillyMcBillyMc Posts: 7,753. Senior Member
    This is assuming "typical assets" whatever that means. If you have 1/2 a milliion dollars or more sitting in a regular bank account or have significant other assets (second homes, rental properties, large investments, etc), your aid to these generous schools will be adjusted accordingly.
    That's why I used terms such as "assuming typical assets", "standard" and not guaranteed expected contribution, and explained that home equity (of your primary residence) and family retirement money can't count against you (also, I think cars under a certain amount - $50,000? - can't either). The idea being that if your parents have half a million dollars sitting in the bank, not counting home equity and retirement, they can afford to pay more than a family that does not have that much money. There are personalized factors that can lower or raise your aid.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 62,476Registered User Senior Member
    Your first concern needs to be whether your parents will pay whatever the schools determine to be their "family contribution". For instance, if schools determine that your family's contribution should be $30k per year, would they pay that? If not, then you have another problem.

    High equity CAN hurt you at some schools. Some CSS schools will include home equity into determining need. Some schools won't.



    So if your family income was $150,000/year, the standard expected contribution by your family to your education would be $15,000/year. If it was $100,000/year, it would be less than $10,000/year (probably in the range of around $7,000-$9,000/year).



    The above might be true for Harvard, Yale and Princeton because they have extra, extra good financial aid. However, those numbers are for those with average assets, too. So, if you have better than avg assets or you get accepted to a different school, your family contribution will be higher.



    And, you need to include the annual contribution into any 401ks. So, if your parents put in - say - $12k per year into a 401k, then you need to add that to AGI.

    The income bracket that you've given is a wide spread. Would you say that your family income is about $115k per year? What about assets/savings? Those will also be considered.




    Your ACT is not yet high enough to give you a better chance at the top schools. For instance, look at Yale's stats for the "mid 50% of students"...

    Test Scores Middle 50% of First-Year Students
    SAT Critical Reading: 700 - 800
    SAT Math: 700 - 780
    SAT Writing: 700 - 790
    ACT Composite: 30 - 34

    As you can see, the top 25% of students at Yale have an ACT 35+. That means that an ACT 33 is good, but not high enough for a better chance at admittance. Remember, these schools reject many, many kids with high stats. Do you have any hooks or special ECs?


    Do you know how much your parents will contribute each year? If you don't know, ask.

    What are your financial safety schools. There are schools that would give you assured big scholarships for your stats. You should apply to 2 - 3 of those for your financial safety schools. :)
  • mmn13ps3mmn13ps3 Posts: 183Registered User Junior Member
    Ivy leagues
    Stanford
    Vassar
    Bates
    Bowdoin
    Colby
    Williams
    Swarthmore
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 62,476Registered User Senior Member
    This student first needs to determine how much his family will pay and what their likely "family contribution" will be. Even a school that is "super generous" isn't going to work if the family will have a CSS EFC that the family won't pay.
  • domer16domer16 Posts: 116User Awaiting Email Confirmation Junior Member
    Wow, thanks so much for the help/suggestions! This is one of my biggest concerns regarding the college selection process so I truly appreciate it!

    To answer some of the questions posted above, our income is around 125K (I misjudged it a little in the previous post). We own our house. Two cars, probably replacing one before next summer. Definitely no significant other assets (second homes, rental properties, large investments, etc). We do have a lot of money saved in the bank (though not half a million I don't think)

    My parents will probably not be willing to pay most EFC amounts...they have told me they would contribute 10K - 15K per year.

    @mom2collegekids: I will definitely be heeding your advice and applying to a few financial safeties (Marquette, maybe Butler and SLU).

    I had not planned on applying to any of the Ivy League schools, but I might want to think about it, especially if this is true...
    "So if your family income was $150,000/year, the standard expected contribution by your family to your education would be $15,000/year. If it was $100,000/year, it would be less than $10,000/year." I do realize, however, that my chances of admission to one of those institutions is quite slim (no outstanding ECs).

    I AM planning on applying to Duke and Vanderbilt, so I'm very excited to see boomie's post. Any additional information on these two schools would be wonderful!

    Would anyone recommend retaking my ACT and shooting for 34 - not sure if I could do any better than that. Could that one point be a significant difference?

    One more thing: how much of a typical financial aid package consists of loans?
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 62,476Registered User Senior Member

    @mom2collegekids: I will definitely be heeding your advice and applying to a few financial safeties (Marquette, maybe Butler and SLU).

    our income is around 125K (I misjudged it a little in the previous post). We own our house. Two cars, probably replacing one before next summer. Definitely no significant other assets (second homes, rental properties, large investments, etc). We do have a lot of money saved in the bank (though not half a million I don't think)

    My parents will probably not be willing to pay most EFC amounts...they have told me they would contribute 10K - 15K per year.




    With that income and what sounds like good savings, you won't get much aid from any school other than a school like HYP.


    I think you need to know what a financial safety school is. I don't know if those schools would qualify if your parents will only pay $10k - 15k per year.

    A financial safety is a school that either you KNOW that your parents can pay for all costs OR you know FOR CERTAIN that you can pay for all costs thru a small loan, an ASSURED scholarship, and/or ASSURED financial aid.


    With your stats, you'd likely (not assured) get a $15k per year (less than half tuition) scholarship from SLU (that's what they gave my son with an ACT 33 and a 4.6 GPA). Even with a student loan and your parents $10-15k, you'd be short about $15k per year. The cost is about $50k.

    Marquette would be similar to SLU, but I don't know if either schools' scholarships are assured. I don't know what Butler would give you.

    Here's the info about SLU
    Several four-year merit-based scholarships, ranging from $3,000 to $15,000 per year, are available to incoming freshmen.


    So, to be safe, you need to find schools that will give you ASSURED big scholarships for your stats. You need to find a couple of schools that would definitely give you full tuition for your stats. That would leave you with only room, board and books to pay for. That would get paid for with your parents' money and maybe (if necessary, a small student loan). THOSE schools would be your financial safety schools.

    Again, look for schools that give assured scholarships. Those are scholarships where the required stats are given and if you have those stats then you'll KNOW for SURE that you'll get that scholarship if you apply on time.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 62,476Registered User Senior Member
    I AM planning on applying to Duke and Vanderbilt, so I'm very excited to see boomie's post. Any additional information on these two schools would be wonderful!


    While you do have a decent chance for admittance into those schools, your expected family contribution will likely be much higher than what your parents will pay. With an income of $125 and a good amount of savings, you may not qualify for much or any aid. My nephew is at Vandy and really likes it, but he got no aid at all because of income and savings.

    How would you cover your parents "family contribution"?
  • mmn13ps3mmn13ps3 Posts: 183Registered User Junior Member
    Well, even if you say that you need around $40k in aid each year, your savings and assets show a different story. So I guess the admission office may not consider you for financial aid.

    But if you really need aid, then apply for scholarships as well
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 62,476Registered User Senior Member
    ^^^

    anyone who needs a large amount of scholarship money should NOT rely on outside scholarships. Those tend to be for small amounts and only for one year. And, they're very hard to get. And, many have a "need" component and you don't have "need."

    If you need large amounts, then you need to apply to the SCHOOLS that give them.


    Well, even if you say that you need around $40k in aid each year, your savings and assets show a different story. So I guess the admission office may not consider you for financial aid.

    True....

    I've told this story several times. A Cornell mom told me this last spring that although they had some "need," Cornell didn't give them any free money. Their FAFSA EFC was about $35k, but their CSS Profile family contribution shocked them about $45k. Still they had about $10k in need. They though that Cornell would give them about $10k in a free grant. No such deal. Their "need" was covered with a student loan and work-study. This upset them because they had hoped that the student loan and a job could help reduce their family contribution. Instead, the family would be paying all costs.

    The point is...that even at a "full need" school, even if you have some need, that doesn't mean it will get covered with free aid.
  • fallenchemistfallenchemist Posts: 12,666Super Moderator Senior Member
    I would even go so far as to say domer has a big problem. Unless he can find a school he really likes that will give him full tuition or a total free ride, his parents are putting him in a tough situation. $10-15K is a very low amount for a family with that income and assets. Domer, do you have siblings in college? Why are your parents only willing to go to that level? That wouldn't even cover most in-state schools.
«1
Sign In or Register to comment.