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Tips on finding an ideal price range for colleges when parents won't help?


Replies to: Tips on finding an ideal price range for colleges when parents won't help?

  • SybyllaSybylla Registered User Posts: 1,440 Senior Member
    edited September 2
    So you are not auto admit for UT, but you still have a good chance depending on major? And you have texas schools, so you are set really.

    >So they do have money saved for my college. I just have no idea of how much.<<<<<

    If your family income is 100K before taxes for a family of 5 do not assume it would be a lot. Get your dad running fafsa and NPCs for your state school options.

    >less than 40K is good<<

    This is conflicting information though. Is that with your parents borrowing money? Make sure you understand that.

    Your stats are terrific, you can get merit at a few schools, you could pick a couple of generous endowments (run NPCs) but know those are unlikely admission chances.
  • BuckeyeMWDSGBuckeyeMWDSG Registered User Posts: 444 Member
    If your parents have saved something, but a dream school budget with merit aid appears out of reach consider carefully timing semesters by tax year, the last 3 years of D's school we only paid for one semester per calendar year and she used co-ops to gain a full years worth of experience, example schedule something like:

    Fall Semester (2017); Spring Co-op, Summer Semester (2018), Fall Co-op; Spring Semester (2019); Summer Co-op, Fall Co-op; Spring (2020)

    She ended up with more in her pocket after graduation than she had started with due to the nice co-ops. And for us it felt like paying half off those last three years. Sometimes this works, sometimes not depending on how merit aid is structured. She was able to use hers by working with the various scholarship entities ahead of time and found they were actually much more flexible than what their written guidelines suggested by speaking directly with those with the power to make decisions and kept them in the loop with all her plans and graduation dates.

    Also keep in mind, most of the time she would front the entire tuition bill and would wait several weeks for all the merit aid to roll in and get a refund for the outside scholarships she was bringing in. You will see a lot of posts about dealing with the financial aid office and consequences of delayed merit aid. Prepare yourself that it is not usually a very smooth process.
  • culaccinoculaccino Registered User Posts: 105 Junior Member
    Thanks for the advice and tips Buckeye! Sybylla, I talked to my parents again and they lowered it to about 30K with no scholarships. They said no to borrowing but that may or may not be just to keep me out of the loop.
  • JAMCAFEJAMCAFE Registered User Posts: 665 Member
    What is your rank?
  • culaccinoculaccino Registered User Posts: 105 Junior Member
  • JAMCAFEJAMCAFE Registered User Posts: 665 Member
    With a top 2% rank and $30k per year you will have your pick of Texas public schools. COA for any Texas public school is under $25k. With NMF you can get full ride at UTD and a few others, TAMU offers full tuition for NMF. UT doesn't offer NMF scholarships but there are competitive scholarships where NMF may help.

    Of course there are many out of state schools that offer full tuition or full ride to NMF.

    You have great stats so you should apply to some "meet full needs" schools where the Net Price is affordable.
  • culaccinoculaccino Registered User Posts: 105 Junior Member
    @inthegarden hmm I'm pretty sure they mean 30K per year.
    @JAMCAFE wow that's really great! Thank you so much! I better stop procrastinating and get my forms filled out.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 62,859 Senior Member
    theminkim wrote:
    I managed to have a serious conversation with my parents just now and they finally said that less than 40K is good, and higher costs too with scholarships.

    If there are 2 other kids behind you, will your parents be able to afford $160k for you, and $160k for each of the 2 other kids ($480k total, plus college cost inflation), and have enough money for their retirement?

    If you or they are uncertain about that, you may want to have some substantially lower cost options (full ride or at least full tuition) that you like in your application list. NMF should significantly increase the number of options here.

    Also, note that automatic admission to Texas public universities does not necessarily include admission to oversubscribed majors (which include popular ones like engineering majors, computer science, business at some campuses).
  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn Super Moderator Posts: 31,315 Super Moderator
    ^With the OP's stats, though, it's hard to imagine he or she would not be admitted to those majors.
  • culaccinoculaccino Registered User Posts: 105 Junior Member
    Good to know. I have UTD on my list for the full ride, and I'll work on getting a few others. It's true that those majors are very competitive, but luckily I'm planning on going the pre-med route (double majoring in neuro and psych) so hopefully I'm good on that point :)
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 62,859 Senior Member
    Remember that medical school is expensive, so keeping cost/debt for undergraduate down would be a good idea. Fortunately, you live in Texas, so that Texas public medical schools and Baylor are relatively low priced for medical schools. Attending undergraduate in Texas will make getting to medical school interviews in Texas medical schools more convenient than attending a distance undergraduate college.
  • culaccinoculaccino Registered User Posts: 105 Junior Member
    That's true...I was actually looking more towards out of state but I'll lean back into Texas schools. Thank you so much!!
  • Sportsman88Sportsman88 Registered User Posts: 1,567 Senior Member
    I recommend applying to SMU as well. They are a limited number of full ride scholarships that are a good deal. Finalist go for a weekend visit and interview. I think it's Presidential Scholars?
  • culaccinoculaccino Registered User Posts: 105 Junior Member
    @Sportsman88 thanks for the suggestion, but I'm preferring colleges that don't have a religious affiliation. The scholarship sounds great though!
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