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Merit/Scholarship/Grant Potential: Can you get more money, and when...


Replies to: Merit/Scholarship/Grant Potential: Can you get more money, and when...

  • cccjbaccccjbac Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    I provided what I thought was a table of the aid offers, est. total cost and unmet need in the above comment. But it appears to be all smooshed together. The first dollar amount is aid, followed by "tot" (full aid package) or sch. (a merit scholarship offer only). The second is their estimated total cost for enrollment for the year, and then the unmet need amount.
    I don't know off-hand what our EFC came out to be. My husband took care of that and he's out of town for a couple days. We did put together a letter pretty much outlining what I did above, but much less wordy (my husband wrote it). Only one school (Butler) responded to the letter. They provided a form for us to fill out, but they want receipts/statements of our medical bills. We don't have direct medical expenses on statements or receipts that would make much of an impact. Our debt and spent earnings are on all the secondary costs due to our numerous and ongoing medical circumstances. We don't know what else to do, or what to expect.

    Gotta stop loosing sleep over this, though. LOL. I can't believe what time it is!

    Thank you, again, for taking the time and thoughtfulness to give me some guidance!
  • itsgettingreal17itsgettingreal17 Registered User Posts: 2,966 Senior Member
    edited February 2
    @cccjbac So if I'm reading this correctly, you won't be able to contribute anything out of current earnings and savings? Your EFC is obviously higher than $0, and probably much higher, which means there is no school on your D's list that will be affordable. Your optoons are going to be loans in your name to cover the gap or time to scramble and find a school that is afordable. I would suggest the latter. What state are you in?

    Hopefully others will post some affordable schools that are still accepting applications and offering the big scholarships. UNM, UA-H?
  • cccjbaccccjbac Registered User Posts: 13 New Member

    Very proud! Feeling guilty that there've been so many distractions/stress and she will have to take on so much debt. Subsidized and unsubsidized loans, if that was offered with the package, is included in the total aid numbers. We made her tour Alabama because we heard they have generous scholarships for Honors College students. She went kicking and screaming, and crying. Fortunately, she liked a lot of what she heard. She's worried about the size (25,000 more students than she was looking for), but the Honors College makes it feel smaller. The campus is huge, spread out, so that's still a negative. We found out that ONLY freshman get student housing on campus. That has me a little nervous. She'd be fine, I just think it's young to be on her own, and even further out from an already huge campus. $11,350 translates to over $44k of debt after 4 years. We have that much now in credit card debt. We'll do what we have to, but we also have #2 graduating HS in 2 years, and then we only have 10 years until retirement (if that mark is 65). I have to plan for a hip replacement within that time as well. Aahhh! I need to get to bed. Thank you for taking an interest! Tomorrow's another day. Good night.
  • NorthernMom61NorthernMom61 Registered User Posts: 3,017 Senior Member
    There are a lot of people on this website particularly @mom2collegekids, who are extremely helpful to posters in working through these issues and helping to sort out the bottom line. Most are probably sleeping right now, but come back to read their input in a few more hours. This is stressful when everyone in a family is healthy, but crazy stressful when dealing with two members who have serious health problems. My heart goes out to you. It is painful coming to the realization of the true cost of higher education even when your kid is so amazing.

    This website, in my opinion, is most helpful in really pointing out and helping people with the paying for it realities. Do come back in a few hours when the rest of America is awake.
  • cccjbaccccjbac Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    edited February 2
    Yep, you've summed it up. We had a nice savings account 10 years ago, but no savings (except 401k) now. If I had to guess on the EFC, I think it was upward of $25,000. Not sure though. I just remember I was SHOCKED by the amount. We have discussed me finding a full-time job, hopefully somewhere with benefits as good as what I have now. But we can't see how that would work for our other daughter. My job would have to be VERY flexible, but even then, I can't say I'd be able to last a full day of work with my limitations. This all sucks!

    Oh, we're in Wisconsin. And my D did not apply to a single school in-state.
  • college_querycollege_query Registered User Posts: 4,016 Senior Member
    My daughter is feeling guilty about the money that is not going to another student from the colleges she will end up not going to. She asked if she should start officially declining offers that are from schools lower on her list.

    As I mentioned earlier, it doesn't really work that way. Schools over-award aid and admit more students than they can accommodate with prior yield rates in mind so they can hopefully reach their target class size/aid budget.

    If there are schools that she would not attend AND they cost more than schools she prefers, then she could notify those schools she doesn't plan to attend. However, doing so will not necessarily open up a spot/aid for another student.
  • itsgettingreal17itsgettingreal17 Registered User Posts: 2,966 Senior Member
    At this late date, the options are unfortunately very slim. Does your daughter have any interest in a gap year? If I were you, I'd take a look at whether there are any good transfer scholarships available at local Wisconsin schools to determine whether the community college to 4-year route makes sense. If it doesn't, I'd either have her (1) take a gap year, work and save money, and retest to try for a 34+ then apply to a different list of schools where she has a shot at a full ride and apply to many outside scholarships; or (2) take the loans and send her to Alabama and try to keep costs as low as possible.
  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri Registered User Posts: 5,871 Senior Member
    If your daughter wants to go into medicine I'd limit the debt she takes as an undergrad. She can only borrow ~$5500/year on her own. With your current financial picture you probably can't cosign for more, nor should you.

    A lot of families can't pay out-of-pocket for residential college. Our kids start at community colleges or commute to our local state university. If your net cost at AL is ~$11k, you might be able to swing that with the federal student loan, summer work earnings from your daughter, and a little help from you. But if you can't contribute anything, I'd look into the WI public schools. There are plenty of smart kids whose parents can't pay for name brand schools. Your state universities are probably full of them.

    Have you ever considered homeschooling your younger daughter? The WI homeschooling regs seem reasonable and might take some pressure off of both of you. It might help cut your expenses some too.
  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Super Moderator Posts: 34,380 Super Moderator
    I think UAB (Alabama Birmingham) may still be accepting applications and giving out merit aid. @mom2collegekids ?
  • JustGraduateJustGraduate Registered User Posts: 672 Member
    edited February 2
    Ok so she doesn't have a safety school from a financial standpoint.

    Does she understand the financial reality of the situation? Obviously it's a huge mind shift from thinking you could go anywhere you wanted to needing to make $ the first and perhaps only priority. The sooner she gets that, the better off she and you will be.

    Might be worth a quick phone call to her guidance counselor to set her straight on the situation see if she has any suggestions. It's possible she's had other students needing close to full rides and has some ideas, even at this late date.

    Also, wouldn't focus so much her med school plans as a driving force in under grad. So many students change their major in college, and it sounds like she have fairly romantic view of life at this point w the adopting 27 kids concept :). Practicalities will kick in soon enough.

  • mamaedefamiliamamaedefamilia Registered User Posts: 2,619 Senior Member
    edited February 2
    @cccjbac If your daughter is serious about trauma medicine, barring a gap year, she should go to Alabama and not look back as that is her lowest debt option. That 11K appears to be room and board, no? Direct student loans would cover half of that. Summer work could contribute another 3-4 K. If you and your husband could cover even 5K per year, that would be doable for her. Also those AP credits would probably shave a semester off her time to completion for her B.S.

    Is she under consideration for any of the named scholarships at UA? Did your D apply to the PPSP program at Case? Has she checked her portal recently as scholarship finalist notifications for PPSP went out within the last week?

    So far, the other options appear to be unaffordable for your family. There may be a few places like UA-H or UA-B that are still accepting applications/offering scholarships, but at this late date I don't know.

    I am very sorry for the difficulties your family has faced. This means that your D will have to adjust her expectations or adjust her long term goals. Most kids love Alabama once they settle in.

    Good luck to you! And don't feel too badly. For many people the reality of college admissions and funding is a rude awakening. You are not alone. You were very prudent in having her submit that Alabama application - it's a very good option! And who knows, it's possible that something else will come through between now and April 1.
  • cccjbaccccjbac Registered User Posts: 13 New Member

    My stomach is in my throat. How does one determine which schools would be likely to offer a full ride? Half of the schools she applied to waived her application fee and even waived the essays. We thought that meant they wanted her by doing that, enough to help her get there. She could have graduated a year early, but she wanted to keep playing her sports. We cannot be the only parents who are unable to fund their kid's college education. Where should she have applied? Oh God, I'm sick. I don't want to believe that college is only for the wealthy, those who have never been sick or struggled, or really poor. My heart's breaking. I stupidly thought there would be more options for such a talented young woman. We never prepared her for not going to college, a good college, right away to get started on the long journey to become a surgeon. I'm sick.
  • cccjbaccccjbac Registered User Posts: 13 New Member

    D#1 needs a break from our home. It's not bad, she's been happy, healthy, and thriving. But it has been hectic and heavy with responsibilities to support me and D#2. She deserves to get away. But, we will definitely take a close look at in-state fall-back options. Homeschooling has been considered for D#2, but all who have worked with her or know her agree that would not be good for her. And I have to keep working to provide our healthcare coverage, because we need it or we'd go into greater debt, and finding the coverage we have for a part-time position is rare. I am grateful for my husband's good income and my expensive but amazing insurance coverage, which have kept us afloat and allowed or girls some wonderful life experiences. I do regret that we were so blind to the ridiculous cost of education and how to navigate it, or better help guide our daughter through the maze. I feel like we've set her up for disappointment without knowing it. But we'll march on. Thank you for your honest and sobering feedback. Better now than 2-3 months from now.
  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Super Moderator Posts: 34,380 Super Moderator

    You'll need to check each school because the list hasn't been updated in a while.
  • cccjbaccccjbac Registered User Posts: 13 New Member

    Thank you. Yes, we've talked about finances. I have a spreadsheet breaking down each expense, financial aid categories, travel home, etc. She expects to take out loans, work during school and over breaks. She knows we will do what we can but it can't be counted on, but we just never expected there would be so much unmet need. If she was offered a merit scholarship with her acceptance, or shortly after, can we expect more aid to follow? That's been very unclear. I pray we see more. Even Alabama's offer is only a merit scholarship, although very generous. Do we have to accept to see what can be added, but then how could one ever choose without knowing.

    I have been saying "we" a lot, but the truth is that our daughter has been running this herself, updating us as she receives info. I believe she has applied to additional scholarships whenever a school had them, except for Case Western, Wash U., and Drake (because they were due at a time that she was overwhelmed with other responsibilities, like studying for her Calc 3 Final and other semester exams). She let Case and Wash U slip by because she wasn't passionate about them (had more dislikes than other colleges she applied to). Keeping up with 12+ applications, essays, recommendations, honors college applications, and scholarship deadlines consumed much of her time. She was advised to cut back, narrow done her options, sooner verses later by her teachers and counselor. But she might have shot herself in the foot. And we weren't involved enough to make her do otherwise. Which was what we thought we should do, let her drive her own plans, take responsibility and own it.

    We were proud of her independence and management of all this on top of school, tutoring, and her job (which she's been working nearly every Fri, Sat, Sun). LOL, ya, adopting 27 teens is a huge exaggeration, but she has little desire for money unless it is to help others (like teens waiting for adoption who rarely see it, because she personally knows such a child). She is a minimalist at heart, rarely spends money on herself, doesn't feel she needs any more clothes because all her sport t-shirts and sweats are fine. She was dissecting worms with pins on cardboard when she was in 1st grade, dissected hers and half a dozen others' crayfish that were cut open to look at for a zoo class in 3rd grade (grouping body parts, eyes, etc). Thanks to a special grant, she participated in a video-conference in 6th grade where she dissected a sheep heart, again exploring other students' hearts who were more squeamish. This crazy kid brought several pieces home in her pocket (against the rules) and tossed me one when she walked in the door (I screamed and threw it in the air). She was fascinated by the texture and that it was a "heart". She took Advanced Bio A/B (human anatomy and physiology) in 9th grade to dissect other animals but was extremely upset when Marquette Univ wouldn't allow her to attend their tour of the cadaver labs because she was under 16 years old. She go her shot at that later in AP Bio. I would be shocked if she didn't become a surgeon (for a while it was medical examiner), or at least a doctor. But I agree with you, many students change their majors in college. Both me and my husband did, so we have often encouraged her to make sure whatever her undergraduate degree is, that it can also lead to a nice career (in case she doesn't go on further).

    I'm sorry. Rambling on. That's a sign of me being overwhelmed, trying to talk my through the fog and find an answer. (sigh) Again, thanks for your thoughts. I'm grateful I stumbled on this group, and I appreciate your time and thoughtfulness to reach out.
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