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NJRoadie

NJRoadie Member

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  • Re: Scholarships for a rising high school senior??????

    @helpmethx

    Good for you for starting to think about this now, not in March when so many have the light dawn on them that college is expensive.

    It would be helpful for you to share with us some of your stats - SAT/ACT score, location (state), major, minority status, EFC from the FAFSA etc.


    Let me be honest with you from experience:

    First thing - realize that while you may think you have financial need - most colleges don't help out unless the need is dire (less than say <60,000 a year with a family of 4). It doesn't matter if your family has a big mortgage, or lots of debt, or never saved - won't help you.

    Second thing - sit down NOW and have an honest conversation with your folks about what they can afford. Take it seriously. Don't allow "oh, whatever you need" No. Pick a few colleges, run their net price calculators, watch jaws drop. Talk again. Be polite and pleasant as you can be, but get the answers.

    Outside Scholarship talk:

    My daughter won $8,000 in outside scholarships, including Carson, Comcast, Simon Youth and several local only ones. She was very organized and applied to over 100. Her qualifications included raising 3 guide dog puppies, editor of high school newspaper, 3.7 unweighted/4.0 weighted and 1260/1600 SAT.

    These are all scholarships with lots of essays, and very little concern about economic situation. She made it to the semi-finalist level in several others (Jack Kent Cooke, Elks) but those took financial need into account.

    She got much more money (11,500 a year from Rowan University in NJ) in merit aid from the school she attends. Because of AP transfer of 29 credits and lots of effort, she will graduate in 3 years. Currently has a 3.9 GPA and enters her junior year in the fall. She did not qualify for any race or low income based scholarships.

    (She did win a $1,000 scholarship from the college in addition to the merit aid this spring - I was excited that she kept up her searching :) )

    I would strongly disagree with the idea to set expectations on "winning scholarships easily" to pay for school. I would advise you to concentrate on finding affordable schools and not to waste money applying to expensive schools you realistically won't be able to attend. One or two dream applications, fine, but don't drop $1,000 applying to 10 places instead of focusing on the schools you can afford (and will enjoy especially coming out with low debt!).

    I also have a foster son who won Gates Millennium. There were 57000 applicants, 1,000 winners. The scholarship was changed for this year, and there are only 300 winners. That is a huge amount of competition. Nothing is easy money. He had phenomenal grades, activities, leadership, volunteerism and letters of recommendation. He is also a junior with a 3,9 GPA and just completed an amazing 10 weeks in a summer research program with a stipend.

    Feel free to continue the conversation here - the people here are much more experienced, and there is a collective will to help out. It enabled me to get two kids thru college who will ultimately have no debt upon graduation.

    (Edited: Found your other post and will connect it below. My family loves Tanglewood too :) )
  • Re: Scholarships for a rising high school senior??????

    @gearmom

    Total for outside scholarships was $8,000.
    Total for merit scholarships from the school $46,000, broken into yearly amounts of $11,500.

    She will be graduating in 3 years through AP credits and "Degree in 3 years" college program.

    Dividing evenly across 3 years, it is $14,166 per year from all scholarships on a COA of $28,000, leaving $13,834 a year to pay. Between her savings from work in high school and now, plus our "donation" :) , she will make it out with no debt, even assuming a COA 4% a year increase.

    She is currently in her 2nd year at Rowan (public NJ college), but a junior in credits and will graduate in 2019, not 2020 (a year early). She has a 3.9, made good friends, and we barely see her - by which I mean she has adjusted very well :)

    Original post below:
    ~~~~~
    My daughter won $8,000 in outside scholarships, including Carson, Comcast, Simon Youth and several local only ones. She was very organized and applied to over 100. Her qualifications included raising 3 guide dog puppies, editor of high school newspaper, 3.7 unweighted/4.0 weighted and 1260/1600 SAT.

    These are all scholarships with lots of essays, and very little concern about economic situation. She made it to the semi-finalist level in several others (Jack Kent Cooke, Elks) but those took financial need into account.

    She got much more money (11,500 a year from Rowan University in NJ) in merit aid from the school she attends. Because of AP transfer of 29 credits and lots of effort, she will graduate in 3 years. Currently has a 3.9 GPA and enters her junior year in the fall. She did not qualify for any race or low income based scholarships.

    (She did win a $1,000 scholarship from the college in addition to the merit aid this spring - I was excited that she kept up her searching )
  • Re: What does my EFC mean & how will it affect me?

    Echoing what the others have said - it really does not matter if you get accepted somewhere if you cannot afford to go there. Not many schools will meet your need, but there are some that will. Make sure you are running the NPC (net price calculators) and see what likely will be offered to you. Talk to us and glean from our knowledge. We love to help!

    I used to think that the EFC meant that was all I'd have to pay, and everything else would be magically taken care of.

    That might happen at like 10 schools for the perfect scores, perfect GPA, with a special dispensation from God, but so many places don't cover it, and if you do not plan well, you end up either not being able to afford to go, or in enormous debt (you AND your family, because you won't be able to get all the loans you would need on your own).

    This sounds scary, and if you don't plan and pay attention now, it will be.

    Don't let that happen. Talk to us :) Tell us your stats, people here are knowledgeable and desire to help. We've all spent years learning, only have a couple kids who are now on their way, and want to use what we know to help others :)

    My knowledge base is deep in scholarships, especially for economically underprivileged and minority students. My foster son was both of these, and won the Gates Millennium and Horatio Alger scholarships, as well as one from the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. Many of these have application dates closing in October, so ask and we shall do our best.

    We might not always be huggy, squishy and nice, but we will do our best to be forthright and helpful.
  • Re: What's the normal notification time for Freshman Apps if applied early?

    @tpcrd66
    Anytime! I am a TCNJ alum and my foster son spent 10 weeks at Rutgers (Busch) in a paid summer research program this summer, so I've seen those three campuses pretty frequently and recently. Rutgers is a different ballpark - much larger, huge class sizes, urban and sprawling. Notice I didn't say bad :) Just different. Both Rutgers, TCNJ and Rowan have honors programs. Rowan's offers huge perks, which I can outline if of interest,, TCNJ and Rutgers fewer. Rowan offers the best merit aid, but it is getting more competitive and is growing fast (so inevitably going ot have growing pains). TCNJ has noticed the competition (and I think still holds a grudge about not getting their engineering certification years ago when Rowan got it). TCNJ started giving slightly more merit aid for 2017's class, but that is based on people's comments on CC and not verified info.
    Ramapo and Stockton are both offering good merit, but are the opposite end of Rutgers in terms of size and location - much smaller and more rural feeling. Personal preference and money factors ruled for us :)

    Good luck!
  • Re: What's the normal notification time for Freshman Apps if applied early?

    @tpcrd66
    My DD is now a junior (she is only in her 2nd year, but in the Degree in 3 year program).

    She loves it there, is challenged but has a 3.9 GPA and is also having fun. She picked up a job on campus in the fall last year and continues with it.

    The new business building opened on time in January, and she loves everything about it except for the fact that they somehow neglected to put in any food place - many of the other academic buildings have these, even if just a grab and go wrap/sandwich place. Apparently that is being remedied by spring semester, so she must not be the only hungry one :) She also applied and was accepted into the Honors program. She originally applied and was rejected in her senior year, but was permitted to take an Honors Composition class, in which she earned an A, so that won them over. On top of that, she won a $1,000 scholarship from the business school.

    Definitely pleased with the affordability, she will graduate with zero debt (none for us either) - that was very important for her future goals and flexibility. At the same time, I am extremely satisfied with the education - the professors teach the classes (not grad students), the sizes of the classes are small as promised, and the campus is thriving. It isn't a beautiful campus like TCNJ but it is alive and kickin' :) which is great to see!

    As a "potential" parent or student there, feel free to ask any questions, and I can tell you what I know or ask my kids. From what I have seen, Rowan has lived up to their promises to us on our tour days. Best of luck!