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looking for good match schools!

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Replies to: looking for good match schools!

  • rejoinderrejoinder 18 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 22 Junior Member
    @jamesk2014 SMU as in Southern Methodist University? Thanks for the input!

    @Publisher I'm definitely checking each individual program on the list -- I'm grateful many seem to welcome anyone who'd like to join. Thanks for the tip!
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  • jamesk2014jamesk2014 289 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 289 Junior Member
    yes the same - good financial aid / scholarships (like combined together) so possibly a good opportunity.
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  • moooopmoooop 2202 replies17 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,219 Senior Member
    There are a lot of people in your financial situation--won't qualify for enough need-based aid to get your net cost down to a level you can afford. You might have to compromise on one or more of your criteria. So publics which are fairly cheap to begin with & offer significant merit aid are good choices. South Florida, Florida International, Florida State, Iowa State, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Mississippi State.
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  • tk21769tk21769 10587 replies27 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 10,614 Senior Member
    If your family can afford about $30K (not just for "tuition" but for everything), and if the EFC for schools you like is ~$48K, then apparently you have a gap of about $18K for those colleges (or others like them). You may be able to close some of that gap with "self help" (federal student loans, summer employment, work-study) ... but maybe not much more than about $7500-$10K/year. See the federal student loan limits here:
    https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/loans/subsidized-unsubsidized

    You could chase merit scholarships, which might be considered another kind of "FA" for families like yours.
    However (and this is important to understand) merit scholarships typically don't "stack" on top of need-based aid. Instead, they generally offset (reduce) need. So if the NPC originally said you'd be getting $25K in n-b aid, but you then factor in a $10K institutional (/ outside) merit award, in that case your n-b aid likely drops to $15K and your net price unfortunately is the same. Therefore, you may need a merit scholarship big enough not only to close a relatively small gap, but to cover *all* the difference between the sticker price and what you & your family can afford.

    So if the school's sticker price is $65K and your family is able and willing to cover only $30K, and if you can cover as much as $10K from self-help, then you may need a $25K merit award (with no need-based aid in the picture). $25K would be above-average for many fairly selective private colleges that offer merit awards. Some schools (like Alabama) do offer even larger automatic merit scholarships for qualifying stats.
    http://automaticfulltuition.yolasite.com/

    Or, you can focus on state schools with lower sticker prices. $30K + self-help gets you close to (or even exceeds) the OOS sticker prices for many state schools.
    https://www.kiplinger.com/tool/college/T014-S001-kiplinger-s-best-values-in-public-colleges/index.php

    Some in-state public schools, including schools within commuting distance, may be affordable even without much self-help, need-based aid, or merit money.

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  • rejoinderrejoinder 18 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 22 Junior Member
    @moooop Some of these seem like good matches! I'll check them out, thank you. Which criteria of mine (specifically) did you think was getting in the way of finding schools w/ good aid?
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  • rejoinderrejoinder 18 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 22 Junior Member
    @tk21769 How do most students get into work-study programs on campus? Do I just look into different departments once I've confirmed my enrollment? Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it mostly graduate students that get those types of opportunities?

    Thank you for the advice!
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  • moooopmoooop 2202 replies17 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,219 Senior Member
    To answer your question about which criteria are blocking out some schools with good merit aid: probably the main one is the reqirement for a large Asian community. Most of the schools I listed are not in states with large Asian populations. To their credit, one of the reasons they are offering significant merit aid to out-of-staters is to attract a more diverse group of students. Also, I have no idea what sorts of debate teams they have.

    Most of the schools I mentioned are interesting places in pleasant college towns/cities. You can get an excellent education at all of them. BUT...and this is a deal-breaker for some people...most are not in the most glamorous locations, nor do they astound people with their prestige.
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  • rejoinderrejoinder 18 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 22 Junior Member
    @moooop I see, thank you! I totally see how those schools could be a turn-off on face value but I'll read more about them individually and try to find other schools similar to them.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 3174 replies9 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,183 Senior Member
    There is a book... Colleges that change lives.... All are private with good scholarships. But a lot of the schools are smaller schools. Might be worth just to go to their website and browse through the schools. Great professors and kids with lower stats but smart.
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  • tk21769tk21769 10587 replies27 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 10,614 Senior Member
    How do most students get into work-study programs on campus?

    Federal work-study jobs are just one kind of "self help".
    https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/work-study
    If one of these jobs is part of your FA package, the school's financial aid office should help you with details.
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  • rejoinderrejoinder 18 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 22 Junior Member
    @Knowsstuff I'll go check out the website, thank you!

    @tk21769 I see, I was wondering if these were programs I have to independently apply for but it's good knowing FA packages may include this!
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  • moooopmoooop 2202 replies17 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,219 Senior Member
    @rejoinder. Yes, those schools are not overflowing with prestige to the people on the coasts, but they have good reputations in-state and regionally, & at least everybody has heard of them...nobody will say "Where is that?!? "

    Perhaps most importantly, they are well-known & competent institutions from which you can get in excellent grad schools if you do well as an undergrad.
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