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carnegie mellon early decision financial aid

john14ty66john14ty66 Registered User Posts: 175 Junior Member
edited November 2010 in Carnegie Mellon University
Can you back out of the early decision agreement if you get accepted, but the financial aid they give you is too low?
Post edited by john14ty66 on

Replies to: carnegie mellon early decision financial aid

  • mom2012and14mom2012and14 - Posts: 888 Member
    You might want to post this in the "financial aid" and "college admissions" threads -- as the issue extends beyond CMU.

    "Too low" is subjective-- if you submit a FAFSA, you're agreeing to the aid package offered based on your EFC. The unmet need will be given with a package of aid and this can include loans and work study. Of course it can also include all grant money. You cannot back-out because you don't like the package if they met your unmet need: COA-EFC= Unmet Need
    If your personal situation changes - job loss, unexpected and other unusual financial circumstances, then of course you could back out.

    Turning down an ED offer is in general frowned upon and can get you into hot splotches elsewhere - -see other threads on this topic throughout CC.

    That said, CMU you will give you a package- -the only problem, you don't get an opportunity to bargain or show competing offers. This is unfortunately why ED is favors the "rich" and should only be a path if you really can accept what is offered. (A disgusting side of college admissions overall) Other ED applicants can chime in on whether their packages were even close to their unmet need.

    Best of luck! It's a tough choice and you should possibly do a CMU early estimate-- and from that decide whether you might fare better with RD over ED at CMU.
  • john14ty66john14ty66 Registered User Posts: 175 Junior Member
    I did an early estimate a while ago, and I think it was around 30k. Do you think that would be worth it?
  • EuroaznEuroazn - Posts: 1,171 Senior Member
    ^I would not apply to ED, since you asked that question.

    Seriously. ED is for people enamored in a school. If you are asking someone if it is worth to go to CMU, it clearly isn't, for you. Apply RD.
  • fineartsmajormomfineartsmajormom Registered User Posts: 1,191 Senior Member
    I actually wholehearedly disagree with Eurozan...John14ty66 it is very very important to try to determine if a school price is " worth it". even if you are "enamored" of a school, this does not mean blind to cost and benefit analysis. Our family agonized over the CMU price tag even though it was clearly the best fit and education for S. It was always his first choice and we knew he would be ineligible for any financial aid. He is in fine arts so ED was not an option, but we would not have let him consider ED as an application strategy even though it was his first choice and even though we could pay the cost. Too much can change between now and April and we were very concerned about having choices both for program and for $$.

    CMU is a great school and great program but was it worth $200,000 versus a free education at a second tier school but with a strong fine arts program? Obviously S and we, his parents, decided yes and no regrets, so far. But, equally frankly, for us CMU would not have been an option if we had had to take on debt to pay for it. The cost seems worth the benefit, but the financial burden of debt for us or for son would have been too high to justify going to CMU. But this decision is very personal and no one can tell you if the education is "worth" it... Why did we decide to use savings and outside scholarships to pay such a mind boggling sum for a fine arts education?
    1. the quality of the program was very high in the very specialized area S was interested in which requires a double major or minor in robotics (pretty much only CMU can offer great programs in both of these areas).
    2. S is motivated by the work ethic and intellectual quality of the kids around him ... CMU students seem outstanding in this regard.
    3. S is certain he will not do a grad degree immediately after graduation and he knows we will pay no more for his education. He is very motivated to be ready for the real world when he leaves.
    4. Good employment placement even for fine arts students from CMU.
    4. Frankly...he knows how much this is costing us, him, grandparents and is very motivated to succeed...
    So those benefits seemed to make the education worth the cost, but it was not an easy decision even though we did not rely on financial aid.

    Please John14ty66...talk to your family about what they can and want to pay for your education. Eurozan is way off by suggesting that by asking a smart question means that you shouldn't consider ED. Applying ED is a nuanced decision (even for a rich kid) and not just about being enamoured of a school. ED is, yes, for kids with a clear first choice but also kids with the financial ability to pay the cost (taking into account estimated family contribution). Most importantly it is for kids who are certain that the benefit/cost ratio is highest at this school versus alternatives. I think, John14ty66, that you asked a critical question and you should make a family decision about the ED based on your estimate of this benefit/cost ratio and what you may have as alternatives. I applaud your thoughtful approach to this.
  • mom2012and14mom2012and14 - Posts: 888 Member
    EURO's comments don't make sense to me either. Euro, your a high school applicant too-- ? so your advice didn't seem on target. I don't think the OP suggested anything about whether CMU was his first choice or not-- I think he was trying to figure out the financial piece. Your comment sounds a bit applicant-competitive to me...and CMU is not that kind of place - it's a cooperative student body.

    OP-- If your parents feel that they can afford the value on your early estimate then apply ED. If your parents say no - this is out of our reach, they you need to have other schools in your mix.

    If you're asking if CMU is worth the price-- that is an entirely different question irrespective of an ED package vs. RD package which "may" be a few thousand better.

    Your family needs to consider how much you can spend on education and go from there.

    Best of luck to you.
  • john14ty66john14ty66 Registered User Posts: 175 Junior Member
    hey guys, thanks for all the thoughtful replies. Talked with my family, and we decided not go to ED and keep my options open. I'm applying RD, and we'll see what happens from there.
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