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CA schools with good FA packages 3.96, 4.27 weighted GPA, 1400 SAT. 2 household income ~$150k

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Replies to: CA schools with good FA packages 3.96, 4.27 weighted GPA, 1400 SAT. 2 household income ~$150k

  • CHRuaneCHRuane 8 replies5 threads New Member
    He is our first to attend college, so we are learning as we go. He has applied to the UW and he will apply to WWU honors as safe schools. He loves San Diego and he loves SLO, but I have been clear that if we can't afford it, it won't happen. He also has a smart IB girlfriend (together since age 14), and this has influence. I wasn't clear on what to expect with financial packages based on 2 households and what I thought might be decent stats. I am also am trying to guide him but not drive the process.

    He worked with his mom in filling out the UC schools application. I was going to sit down and weed out some choices. This all great information to work with. Thank you.

    How accurate are the Net Price Calulators?
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  • thumper1thumper1 77112 replies3427 threads Senior Member
    @aunt bea when did USD start meeting full need? I can tell you, in 2006 when my kid was accepted, they absolutely did not meet full need...not even close.
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  • happymomof1happymomof1 30166 replies182 threads Senior Member
    Net Price Calculators vary in their accuracy. If the institution only looks at the FAFSA, then chances are that the numbers will be reasonably accurate. If the institution requires the CSS Profile and/or additional financial information from parents who are divorced and/or the parents own property other than their home and/or own a business, then the accuracy will depend on how detailed the calculator is.

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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 81039 replies727 threads Senior Member
    Net Price Calculators vary in their accuracy. If the institution only looks at the FAFSA, then chances are that the numbers will be reasonably accurate. If the institution requires the CSS Profile and/or additional financial information from parents who are divorced and/or the parents own property other than their home and/or own a business, then the accuracy will depend on how detailed the calculator is.

    And also how accurate the input numbers are. Many divorced parents are distrustful of each other and give each other only vague numbers, resulting in derived inaccuracy for whoever puts them into the NPC. If both of you do not mind sharing accurate financial numbers with the kid and each other*, then you will be able to use good numbers in NPCs of colleges that want both.

    *Note that although CSS Profile has the custodial and non-custodial parents fill in information separately for the actual financial aid application, NPCs do not have this provision. It is also possible for someone who knows the actual FA offer and one parent's finances to reverse-engineer ranges of what the other parent's finances are using the college's NPC.
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  • aunt beaaunt bea 10181 replies70 threads Senior Member
    @thumper1: Need at USD is for low income students they want.
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  • Techno13Techno13 320 replies12 threads Member
    Why CA? UW is not the small environment you are seeking but nothing with Engineering is going to be. UW is fantastic. If smaller/more personal is a priority please check out Whitman, Lewis & Clark, Univ. Puget Sound. Not sure how good the sciences are there but he is probably in merit range. Someone else mentioned Occidental. Good science, no engineering-- it's pricey and he's probably not in merit range.

    I agree Colorado Mines is worth a look for Engineering and possibly merit. Small for en engineering school. Undergrad focused. Public schools and applications for merit are passing by quickly. So act fast.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 81039 replies727 threads Senior Member
    Techno13 wrote: »
    I agree Colorado Mines is worth a look for Engineering and possibly merit. Small for en engineering school. Undergrad focused. Public schools and applications for merit are passing by quickly. So act fast.

    Two other "mine" schools in NM and SD are also small engineering focused schools, but have lower out-of-state list prices than the one in CO.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 24068 replies19 threads Senior Member
    Another engineering school he may want to look at is Colorado Mesa. It is a WUE school but for engineering it is only for the first two years. For jr and sr years, the engineers are considered U of Colorado students, and diploma is from CU.
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  • SybyllaSybylla 4497 replies56 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    OP has said eng is not a lock, so the mine schools are not a great idea for a kid likely to drop engineering or get weeded out. CSM would not have been generous enough to 1400 SAT in the past to get past the OOS rate, but now I can't even see the scholarship table, so it is going to be nuanced.
    edited December 2019
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  • aquaptaquapt 2300 replies48 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    As others have said, you have some mutually-exclusive priorities here. The only *small* schools that have aerospace programs are the specialty schools like Embry-Riddle that won't have his non-engineering fields of interest.

    If he wants engineering to be on the menu, I would suggest discussing a MechE or general engineering path - it is still possible to end up in the aero industry with these degrees, but he'd have a lot more options.

    The only semi-affordable UC will be Merced, because it's a WUE school. They have both MechE and a Cognitive Science major that might appeal. It's the smallest UC campus with 8000 undergraduates. Could be an option. But can I make an argument that it would be better than WWU? Maybe. WWU is bigger and doesn't have MechE or CogSci. And if he would like to experience a diverse, majority-nonwhite campus, Merced offers that opportunity (unlike WWU or SLO which is the whitest public U in California). What's your estimated EFC? You won't get need-based aid at any CA public; the question is whether WUE or the CSU sticker price are in the same range as your EFC or if you need more aid than that.

    I don't feel like SLO is the best environment for someone who needs to explore before figuring out his path. You can change majors but it's not fluid, as you noted.

    Are you open to more distant schools? CWRU comes to mind - it's pretty small and supportive (5000 undergrads) and has an "open door policy" - no limitations on choosing/changing majors once there. MechE and Aerospace share a department, and there's also CogSci and great neuroscience and medical-related research, based both on the academic side and at the highly-regarded med school. Also the option of Engineering Physics with a mech/aero concentration. Humanities, social sciences, and the arts are strong too... and it's a full-need-met school. Could be worth running the NPC. It would be a little reachy but not entirely out of range - if it looked good both financially and fit-wise, applying EDII could bring it more into reach. (January 15th deadline)

    URochester is another with similar attributes to Case - relatively flexible curriculum and strong in both engineering and arts/sciences. Other small full-need-met schools with engineering options that could be in range, in the eastern US, include Lafayette, Lehigh, Union, and Trinity. And WPI could be a great fit - it's not full-need-met but there's merit so it might work out. Not that you've even said he'd be open to crossing the country but there just aren't as many smaller schools with engineering *and* good financial aid, on the west coast.

    FWIW, U of North Dakota (which is a WUE school and very affordable) has a very highly regarded aviation program in addition to a variety of engineering majors. Not sure if actual aviation is an interest but if it is, this is one of the places to be.

    Have you looked at U of Utah? He'd likely qualify for the Honors College which could "make a big school smaller"... and it could be pretty affordable between merit and either WUE or establishing residency, which they allow students to do after the first year. Strong STEM including MechE with a choice of 12 different emphases including aerospace. Great setting (both a major city and amazing outdoor recreation) and easy direct flights between SEA and SLC. UofU vs. SLO seems to be a comparison that comes up often, because they have similar strengths STEM-wise.
    edited December 2019
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30018 replies59 threads Senior Member
    How much are you and your ex willing and able to pay ? What commitment can you two make per year for college? That amount is crucial in determining what is possible.

    Run the NPC for the FAFSA only schools and see what they are saying they will give in aid. Be aware that at such schools, any payments for college by the noncustodial parent, actually any payments on behalf or to the student from the NCP will be counted as income on FAFSA a when that year’s income needs to be reported, so the money from that parent either has to be gifted to the OP or lent to the student with appropriate loan documentation.

    The PROFILE schools will require both parents’ financials. YMMV as to what sort of financial aid is forthcoming.
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  • thumper1thumper1 77112 replies3427 threads Senior Member
    @aunt bea

    Santa Clara University uses the Profile in addition to the FAFSA. Last I knew, they require the non-custodial parent form. The combined income of both parents is $150,000. Unless they look only at the custodial parent, I doubt this will be considered “low income”.
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  • aunt beaaunt bea 10181 replies70 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    @thumper1, I don’t know anything about Santa Clara University’s FA.
    I only had one child that applied there and when we visited she didn’t like the size.
    At $150K income, this family would not qualify for full need-based financial aid.
    I attended USD for undergrad. I have former students who have attended or are attending.
    edited December 2019
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  • thumper1thumper1 77112 replies3427 threads Senior Member
    My kid graduated from Santa Clara University. Unless something had changed, the school does not meet full need for all accepted students. It doesn’t meet full need for all low income students. It’s an expensive college.

    I would say a 1400 SAT isn’t going to garner significant merit aid there either.

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  • hophop 1012 replies3 threads Senior Member
    Have a look at Arizona State U, coupled with their Barrett Honors College,
    as well as U New Mexico and their Honors College.
    Neither meet the California criteria, but both are potentially affordable and have the range of majors being considered.

    However UW, or WWU for a smaller school, still seems like best options.
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  • NCalRentNCalRent 6316 replies14 threads Senior Member
    i haven't read every word above, so apologies if someone beat me to this...

    As others note, you've kind of defined an empty set.... but, CP Pomona may check most of your boxes, they aren't small but, they are in CA, have an Aerospace Engineering degree and participate in WUE.
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  • bluebayoubluebayou 27386 replies187 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    He applied at UCSD and UCSC (loved the campus and location), and Cal Poly SLO. I just can't imagine being able to afford any of them.

    Correct, and the app was a waste of money. (sorry.) The CA publics are just too expensive for OOS.

    To me, living on campus as U-Dub would be a no-brainer unless some private colleges come up with some big time merit money.
    edited December 2019
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  • TS0104TS0104 1231 replies30 threads Senior Member
    My D got a good merit package at LMU, from out of state, with lower stats (29 ACT I think, maybe a 3.7 UW, school didn't weigh GPAs). I'm a huge fan of LMUs size, the mid size (6000) enrollment. Pepperdine is smaller I believe, and has more of a religious feel to it (LMU is Jesuit but aside from some core requirements in religion or ethics, I don't get the feel that the student body is strongly religious).

    I will say that yes, attending school in CA is expensive, from dorms to meal plans to gas to groceries to parking to off campus apartments to flights home.

    I say YES to the big fish in a small pond environment if that is what you think your son will thrive in. And the smaller and lesser known the school, the higher the chance of great merit aid. You just have to be diligent in your search. Have you checked out Colleges That Change Lives? A friend of mine got a full ride, OOS, to one of those schools.
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  • aquaptaquapt 2300 replies48 threads Senior Member
    Good point about LMU. Their engineering program just gained ABET accreditation https://lmuthisweek.lmu.edu/2019/09/09/lmu-engineering-programs-gain-accreditation/
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