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Signed LOI, and now find that Fin Aid isn't doable

ilovepyrsilovepyrs Registered User Posts: 53 Junior Member
edited August 2010 in Athletic Recruits
My daughter signed an NLI at a school (private 4 yr), that meets 75% of the family's need. It is on collegeboard.com.as well as many FA guidebooks. Subtracting our EFC from that and coming up with the 75% figure, and then lowering that a bit just in case, we felt that if that was what the school offered, we could handle it. She signed the NLI last fall and thus, did not apply anywhere else. The package we rec'd meets 26% of our need, and of that package, 37% is loans. WE are sick to our stomachs and can't believe that this is happening. From reading many posts on these boards, this is a common scenario - so many schools offer paltry packages, even to honors students that are excellent candidates.

We are now in the process of appealing this award. there is a $36,000 gap between the award and the full cost to attend. So this is bad. Has anyone had any luck with appeal letters? I was going to include the information from collegeboard.com in the letter. I have had a few conversations with the FA person and she is hard to read. she never sounds too hopeful for us. And it is not like we are rich, our EFC is around 5K, my husband's income dropped way down in 2009, but we have some savings she was asking about that is not a retirement fund, so I don't know if that is the problem. It is 108K, so is that alot to have as non-retirement savings?? enough to skew the numbers against us?

If any experienced parents have been through something similar, with the appeal or NLI, or anything, i would welcome any advice. thanks.
Post edited by ilovepyrs on
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Replies to: Signed LOI, and now find that Fin Aid isn't doable

  • fishymomfishymom Registered User Posts: 1,849 Senior Member
    I am so sorry you are in this position, hugs to you and your daughter, as this really stinks! As far as the FA, I would think that $108,000 in non-retirement savings would be enough to skew the numbers, especially with an efc of around 5k. It appears that they are expecting you to utilize your savings to finanace your daughter's education. I have a friend whose husband's income dropped significantly in 2009, like 35%. Their fin aid award was much lower than they expected and much more than they could afford. When they she talked to the school (private) about the award, they pointed to their home equity, which she estimates to be about $100k. Son is in top 5% of his class, excellent ECs, etc, and this is his dream school. They are just sick about all this.

    As far as NLI, I know that the athletic director of the school can release your daughter and I would appeal to him/her immediately, may be able to help ith FA, may not. But I think the sooner the coach and AD are aware of the situation, and the impossibility of the financial end of things, the better for you and your daughter. Best of luck with all of this.
  • fogfogfogfog Registered User Posts: 4,056 Senior Member
    no experience ...however..

    YES they are looking at that savings as something you "should/could" use to pay your student's schooling...

    what I don't understand is how the EFC is "only 5k" and you are saying the gap is ALOT more?

    I would ask on the Fin-Aid threads for more help.

    good luck and please update us here.
  • ilovepyrsilovepyrs Registered User Posts: 53 Junior Member
    COA- 53K, FA pkg: 15.7K + 5K EFC = 32K gap after the FA pkg and our efc. this is really it in a nutshell. if our daughter goes to this school and they do not redo our FA pkg, we must come up with 32K.

    HOw do I write an appeal letter to make at least some of this happen???

    Regarding the savings, my husband is in sales in a very volatile industry. Due to a recent buyout of one of his suppliers, he may loose a huge account. The 2009 income drop was so pronounced, that his tax accountant's assistant casually asked him if he lost his job! So the 108K savings is our safety net if something happens and we need it to live until.... well you know. we are in a good position if he ever did loose his job, which is always a possibility, hence the savings.

    Thanks for the well wishes and support. I promise to post the ending to this story.
  • ShesOnHerWayShesOnHerWay Registered User Posts: 757 Member
    Here is the falacity with financial need....financial need is what the college says your financial need is not what you say your need is.

    FAFSA has strict formulas for their determination of your EFC. Current income and current savings/stocks are the primary determinant of your EFC. High current income and high current investments results in higher EFC. Yes, $108,000 in current investments is considered high. Also, just because you have equity doesn't mean that you can get an equity line/second mortgage. Whether or not you can get a loan and whether or not you want to access that equity is not a concern of the college.

    Additionally, loans can and generally are part of the financial aid package.

    That the college didn't meet the financial package you were hoping for is not their concern.

    One college said to me when we were in the same position, "I guess you'll have to send your daughter to a cheaper college". (no kidding, they really said that).
  • ilovepyrsilovepyrs Registered User Posts: 53 Junior Member
    I have really learned a lot about FA, you are totally right and I wish you weren't. :( And it is hard to believe that a college spoke like that to a prospective student/family. Even if they knew it wasn't going to work out, you would think they would try to be as diplomatic as possible and not leave you with a bad taste in your mouth regarding the school.

    right now that is my husband regarding this school. We have had the admissions letter on the fridge and he took it and said, put this away, I can't look at it... He is so mad.

    It is hard when you look back over the months and realize what you could have done differently prevent this mess. I was the main researcher, did so many hours of reading and comparing stats, so I feel it is my fault, since I really believed what I read.

    I hope whereever your daughter ended up was a great fit for her.
  • pacheightpacheight Registered User Posts: 1,168 Senior Member
    ^^love, this sounds tough. does the school have money? big endowment? 500 million +?
  • skrlvrskrlvr Registered User Posts: 790 Member
    I think you need to talk to the coach ASAP. He/She may be able to help out and maybe even go to bat for you with the financial aid office.

    You mentioned in your other thread that back in November, the coach was going to consult with the FA office to see what kind of package you could get. What happened as a result of this? Were you able to get some information at that point?

    I feel for you here. This is a very difficult situation and I am hoping that in some particular way, this school works out for you.
  • ilovepyrsilovepyrs Registered User Posts: 53 Junior Member
    I am drafting an email to the coach right now. He has spoken to the FA office for us twice - once in the fall when we were deciding, and once in January before they were packaging us, and maybe even in early February when we got our first offer. (they had to repackage us in march because we estimated my husband's 2009 earnings and we did it too high, when we got the w-2, we had to redo the fafsa and call the school about the discrepancy). We thought the drop in income would make the package bigger, but they only increased it by 1200. :( Each time the coach said he would speak to them, nothing much different happened, but this is the last time I will have to ask him. He has been very forthcoming, and did not force us to sign or anything back in the fall. There really are no bad guys here, just misinformation, I don't even blame the FA people - the officer I have been speaking with has been helpful and informative. I can totally see this from all angles. I just wish they would come up with some kind of grant or something to make a bigger dent in the gap. I know there is no way they will completely close it, at least that seems like it is the way this will end. I am going to say a prayer to st. anthony, the miracle worker - maybe that is all I have left now.
  • keylymekeylyme Registered User Posts: 2,825 Senior Member
    I am so sorry to hear this. I hope the coach is able to help you out with the fa office, but that is a pretty good amount of savings. I would expect they would want you to use some of it (but it sounds like they want you to use all of it!)
  • ihs76ihs76 Registered User Posts: 1,866 Senior Member
    Might try posting on the Financial Aid forum. There are some people there who seem to know a lot about how things are calculated.
  • ilovepyrsilovepyrs Registered User Posts: 53 Junior Member
    Ok, today I spoke with the FA officer at length, and sent the letter. I estimate I spent about 10 hours on the letter, with research and rewrites. Every word, every phrase, every sentence was carefully crafted, because this is the only shot we have. I laid out the entire story, from how our search led us to them, to the offer of the NLI, to the research I did checking out the schools typical aid packages, and our decision to believe what was listed in multiple places. As well as lots of other information that the FA officer said I should include. Now we wait.

    Of course I will post the end to this story when I know it, and for all of you that gave advice and support for my problem, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
  • riverrunnerriverrunner Registered User Posts: 2,715 Senior Member
    ilovepyrs, thanks for posting your story. It sounds like you've done everything you possibly can. No matter how this comes out, you did your best. Hopefully your child has seen the time and effort you've made and knows how much you want this for her. When I see parents like you in action, it's no wonder to me that their children acheive so much. What a great example.
  • fishymomfishymom Registered User Posts: 1,849 Senior Member
    Ilovepyrs, I hope things work out well for you and your daughter. She is certainly lucky to have you working on her behalf! Best of luck to you both.
  • fogfogfogfog Registered User Posts: 4,056 Senior Member
    We are all pulling for you--Please let us know how it works out.
  • TheGFGTheGFG Registered User Posts: 6,219 Senior Member
    We feel your pain. I hope the college acts in good faith and adjusts the package.
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