I contest these statements because I met with the financial aid office and was shown that I still had unmet demonstrated financial need. I am an out-of-state student. They did give me as much as they could, don't get me wrong, but they did not meet my demonstrated financial need.
Meeting financial need does mean taking out the maximum amount of federally subsidized loans and doing work study jobs during the school year. You can turn down work study if you can find resources elsewhere.
The above link provides a great deal of info about UVa financial aid and other resources. Low income students may also receive one-time assistance in buying or borrowing a laptop.
It should also be noted that the promise to meet need only applies to undergrad students, and only for 8 semesters, and only applies if all of the required info is submitted by the deadlines. The U. is getting tougher in enforcing deadlines for financial aid submittals, because of past problems when they were lax.
Most financial aid also typically assumes that a student works full time during the summer.
(I just remember the good old days when I could pay 2/3rds of my out of state UVa tuition with the money I earned in my summer job).
At any college, there also can be difficulties when a non-custodial parent refuses to provide information or refuses to contribute towards educational costs. I live in Pa, and I heard a lawyer explain that there is no legal requirement that a non-custodial parent pay anything towards college expenses, unless that parent accepted that responsibility in a divorce settlment. Other states are different.
An individual college may not accept that a parent won't contribute, particularly if the parent has the resources to do so. If a college would quickly make up the difference from an uncaring parent, then many parents would just say they refuse to contribute.
In addition, keep in mind that a student would have expenses for food, housing and utilities no matter where they lived. I believe it is unreasonable to expect a college to cover all of those living expenses, even for someone with high need. I personally believe everyone who gets aid should first need to take out the maximum available amount of federally subsidized loans.
Last edited by charlieschm; 07-16-2012 at 04:29 PM.