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Ivy Academia for Veterans?

thestatethestate Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
edited February 2012 in College Search & Selection
I consider myself a strong candidate for acceptance to an Ivy League Institution. My only problem is that my parents aren't willing to support me financially, which has been a well-known fact for quite some time and it is something I understand and accept.

How plausible is joining the military for four years then attending a private/ivy school?
Post edited by thestate on

Replies to: Ivy Academia for Veterans?

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 62,840 Senior Member
    Are they low or middle income, or are they higher income but just do not want to help pay for your college to the extent that colleges expect them to?

    Some of the Ivy League schools are rather generous with need-based financial aid, so if you are from a low or middle income family, they may expect the family to contribute nothing. Of course, the hard part is getting in -- do not count on that, even if you may appear to be a reasonable candidate.
  • thestatethestate Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    My cost of attendance would most likely be around $16k/year based upon several financial-aid calculators. Even if I could borrow that much, and I doubt that I could, it would be a significant burden.
  • locknlockn Registered User Posts: 3,033 Senior Member
    Are you necessarily set on the part of your plan where you join the military for four years, then go to college? With ROTC, you could do it the other way around.

    Also, are these financial aid calculators from Ivy (and similar) schools? Ivy aid can be a lot better than FAFSA. And it's pretty easy to get student loans.

    If you did go to the military now, the post 9/11 GI Bill would conveniently pay a maximum of almost exactly your parents' expected contribution.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 62,840 Senior Member
    Other military related options include:

    * The military service academies.
    * ROTC scholarships.
  • juilletjuillet Super Moderator Posts: 11,568 Super Moderator
    And if you are a veteran, you become an independent student regardless of your age, so your parents' EFC ceases to matter. My SO is active duty who plans to leave after his enlistment is up and go to college. He's an E-4 and his income qualifies him for the Pell grant, too.

    It's very plausible to get accepted to an Ivy after serving in the military. The School of General Studies at Columbia was specifically set up for military veterans returning from World War II, and it continues to serve military veterans heavily. It is a participant in the Yellow Ribbon Program, which means that if you serve for at least 36 months (which you most likely have to do anyway because active duty contracts are usually for at least 4 years) whatever your GI Bill doesn't cover, Columbia covers half of the rest and the Department of Veterans Affairs covers the other half, up to about 24 credits a year. You may be able to get other financial aid to cover up to 30 if you want to take that many.

    Other Ivy schools with Yellow Ribbon Programs, and how much the school will give you - remember that an equivalent amount is matched by the VA:

    Penn ($9,000)
    Columbia ($7,000)
    Cornell ($99,999)
    Dartmouth ($15,000)
    Yale ($5,000)
    Harvard ($3,000)
    Brown ($10,000)

    Remember that these are also schools that commit to meeting 100% of a student's financial need. As a military veteran who is also an independent student, you will almost surely have a low EFC and qualify for the no-loan packaging from these schools. My SO's EFC was just $2,500. Some of it might be made up of GI Bill, some Yellow Ribbon, and some grants and scholarships from the school.

    I wouldn't recommend going into the military JUST for the educational benefits. You will face deployments, difficult working conditions, and a lot of physical conditioning. However, if you are or were already contemplating the military, the educational benefits are a huge bonus.

    Given that my SO is planning to go to college next year I've done a lot of research on the benefits, especially for New York schools. I go to Columbia so that's where he wants to go, too, especially given their generous veterans' benefits.
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