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Financial aid packages not enough

CMIRA003CMIRA003 Posts: 104Registered User Junior Member
edited March 2011 in Parents Forum
Hello to all. I am new to all this process. My D received an excellent package from her "safety college" we still have to wait for Brown and NYU. =)p

The wait is killing me even now that we received her financial aid package. Most of them were in scholarship and grants but I notice like 3 loans (not that big amounts because they range between 1,000 - 3,000 and work/study program). The rest of it in tuition, board, meals, books, were included in this package, but it left for me to pay around $8,000 per semester, money that we don't have. She is looking for additional aids and grants and scholarships that are still available, but what if... What can I do. Like the most people around, I live pay-check by pay-check with a son with a special needs. She will be the first to go to a college in our home... I don't want her losing this big opportunity, but what if I can't come up with the money to pay what is needed for her to go to college?


We really are happy with her Financial Package, don't get us wrong.
Any advice, suggestions, will be truly appreciated.
Post edited by CMIRA003 on
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Replies to: Financial aid packages not enough

  • fishymomfishymom Posts: 1,849Registered User Senior Member
    Brown is need based financial aid only, so your financial aid will be based on income and assets. NYU is well known for many reasons, one of which is their lousy financial aid. If you cannot afford to send your daughter to her safety, she may have to attend a community college, commute to a university close to home or take a gap year, work and save money for college. I know it is not what either of you want to hear, but unfortunately, that is the reality of the situation for many families.
  • SmithieandProudSmithieandProud Posts: 3,038Registered User Senior Member
    Well, it doesn't hurt to contact the financial aid office and explain your circumstances, to see if you can negotiate something. Or your daughter can take out loans to cover whatever you can't pay. But no matter what, you're going to end up needing to pay some amount per semester, so I would recommend trying to figure out how much you feel you can afford, based on your circumstances, and whether you're willing/able to take out loans yourself to cover the extra cost. Then discuss with your daughter how much she would need to take out in loans/how much she would need to earn over the summer to cover the difference.
  • CMIRA003CMIRA003 Posts: 104Registered User Junior Member
    Thanks. We will have to wait and see then. Thanks for the advice. Truly appreciated.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 62,664Registered User Senior Member
    What was your FAFSA EFC?

    Schools like Brown use CSS Profile and probably require financial info from a non-custodial parent if there is one.

    NYU will likely not be affordable. Even those limited number of students who are given good merit scholarships usually still have to pay $15k-25k per year.

    Did your D only apply to financial safety school? Which school is it?
  • NewHope33NewHope33 Posts: 6,208Registered User Senior Member
    I found it was helpful to create an "If all else fails" solution ... in my mind that is. I never had to actually implement that for my kids' college educations, but it really helped with peace of mind.

    So I'd suggest creating one now ... before the Brown/NYU letters arrive. Plan B was your D's safety school. If you truly can't figure a way to cover the $8K/semester, then you really need a Plan C. And you need that now IMHO, so you'll be ready to discuss this with your D on April 1st.

    Good luck.
  • ALFALF Posts: 931Registered User Member
    Yeah, many schools are not going to give you aid beyond your Expected Family Contribution. If your FAFSA form indicates that your EFC is $16K, then there aren't going to be too many schools that will leave with you with less than $16K to pay. And, as we all have learned, the aid 'package' usually includes loans which obviously still have to be paid, but at least at a later time.

    The only time we had a relatively low EFC is when we had both kids in college simultaneously. Once the first one graduated, our EFC zoomed way up, even though we had depleted most of our college savings.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 62,664Registered User Senior Member
    I found it was helpful to create an "If all else fails" solution ... in my mind that is. I never had to actually implement that for my kids' college educations, but it really helped with peace of mind.

    So I'd suggest creating one now ... before the Brown/NYU letters arrive. Plan B was your D's safety school. If you truly can't figure a way to cover the $8K/semester, then you really need a Plan C. And you need that now IMHO, so you'll be ready to discuss this with your D on April 1st.




    Very good point!

    It doesn't sound like this student really ever had a true financial safety school (one where the family knew that all costs would be covered).

    There's no reason to wait for Brown and NYU to come up with Plan C. NYU is likely not going to work. Brown might work IF they don't somehow determine a larger "family contribution" than what you can afford. But, chances for acceptance are low for ivies. Does your D have high stats for Brown?



    Most of them were in scholarship and grants but I notice like 3 loans (not that big amounts because they range between 1,000 - 3,000 and work/study program). The rest of it in tuition, board, meals, books, were included in this package, but it left for me to pay around $8,000 per semester, money that we don't have.

    Can you clarify? What is the cost breakdown for this school? And how much was each grant and scholarship?

    If you're including costs like transportation and living expenses in the total costs, there may be room to economize.

    Also, can your D work over the summer to contribute?

    how much can the parents contribute each year?
  • CheckersMidwestCheckersMidwest Posts: 1,175Registered User Senior Member
    I sent you a PM.
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Posts: 24,943Registered User Senior Member
    I've seen NYU come up with the most generous package for some kids. Until all of the financial aid awards are in, there's no telling.

    What were you expecting in terms of need met? What was your FAFSA EFC? Is there a non custodial parent in the picture? What kind of aid does this college that has already sent out their stuff tend to give?

    Hopefully, there is a financial safety school on the list as well. For us, it was the a local private and a state school, and they did both come through for us, so that everything else is gravy.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 62,664Registered User Senior Member
    cptofthehouse...

    Have you ever seen NYU give a FA package that was so HUGE that the family only had to pay a few thousand?

    I've never seen anyone at NYU only have to pay a tiny bit. I guess there might be some who've been given nearly full ride aid, but wouldn't those be students with tippy-top stats?

    I've seen ones where NYU has given large scholarships (for HIGH stats) and other aid, but usually the family still has to pay at least $15k per year. Granted, that's still a great deal, but not for someone who can't pay $8k that another school is requiring.
  • CountingDownCountingDown Posts: 10,378Registered User Senior Member
    CMIRA,
    Did you tell the schools' FA departments about special circumstances with your special needs son? If there are additional expenses (school, tutors, medical care) for helping him, let the schools know. They may be able to make "professional judgment" modifications to your package. It is not too late to do this.

    Agree with others that NYU is not likely to meet your need. Have heard of kids here on CC with a zero EFC getting lots of loans.
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Posts: 24,943Registered User Senior Member
    Yes, I have. On three occasions. One young man and two young women. All three had very high stats. The one young woman who was a local NYer got a full ride, I remember. The young man did have some of his aid reduced after a year or two because the aid was given with a sibling in college. I knew two of the families well. One lives near me.

    However, I know far more stories where NYU gapped the kids, sometimes terrible and in circumstances that are shameful, in my opinion. The problem is that it is so danged expensive to go there that trying to skimp on living in Manhattan among so many well to do folks with all of the temptations is a very difficult thing to do.

    My son's close friend was accepted to NYU with a barely doable award. When his sister went to college, the award was not increased. Not a dime. So, the young man decided to commute since it is doable. The award was cut to the bone when he made that move rather than proportionally and there was a huge to do about it. He did not get a proportional deal despite appeals. I know more people with bitter feeling about NYU's financial aid office than any who feel good about it. But, yes, in all fairness, it is possible to get a generous offer from this school. It's worth a try, but you gotta be willing to walk away if it is not enough.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Posts: 21,471Registered User Senior Member
    OP:

    Also be aware that not all colleges will automatically waive the NCP. You may have to appeal.
  • CMIRA003CMIRA003 Posts: 104Registered User Junior Member
    mom2collegekids - What was your FAFSA EFC?

    Schools like Brown use CSS Profile and probably require financial info from a non-custodial parent if there is one.

    NYU will likely not be affordable. Even those limited number of students who are given good merit scholarships usually still have to pay $15k-25k per year.
    Did your D only apply to financial safety school? Which school is it?
    [/I]

    Our EFC was 0. She is an excellent student. Third in her class, Excellence Award so far in her class. Her stats were high. And the school that made the offer so far is Syracuse. We are not complaining about the financial aid package, it was a very very good offer. I don't have the breakdown of the financial aid with me, it was sent directly to her email. But it was good. And she is doing some summer work but its at $7.25 an hour, that helps her with some of it, but not completely.

    The NCP was waived from both Brown and Syracuse, we haven't heard anything from NYU, but since Ive been reading, its really expensive.

    Thank you all for the recommendations. I did write about my son and his condition, and all expenses that I have with this situation, but I am grateful with all this. He is one of the lucky ones that can talk and let me know what hurts and what bothers him. He is having a bad time dealing with the separation of his sister. But we are working on this.
    and we don't live in the mainland, so private universities are around but not what is in her best interest, her teachers recommended her to study in the mainland so she is dealing with alot of issues right now. As a mother, first generation to go to college, I will try to do my best to help her out.
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Posts: 24,943Registered User Senior Member
    With a zero EFC, $16k per year seems like a lot to me. Most folks I've known with that EFC have trouble meeting it. Your daughter is likely to already have loans in her package, so unless she is not maxed out on her Stafffords, you would either have to cosign another loan for her, take out Parent Plus, or find the money yourself. To borrow over $60K with a zero EFC is something that should be considered long and hard knowing what those monthly payments are going to be for how long. Not something you want to hang on your daughter, and not something you want to take on yourself either.

    I hope that NYU or Brown will meet your family need completely. I think that Syracuse is asking a lot from you to make that stretch financially.
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