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Financial Aid Chances in Undergraduate College if completed High School from a Prep/Boarding school?

SoaringHighSoaringHigh Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
My son got admitted to Phillips Academy this year and will be attending the same for the remaining 3 years of high school. We could afford for him to go there because he got 80% scholarship/financial aid. He has his mind set on Ivy Leagues or maybe some other top tier colleges. Does that fact that he is attending a prep/boarding school affect his chances of getting a scholarship for college in any way. would love to see some Phillips Academy past students answer this. Comments from anybody else is welcome too.

Replies to: Financial Aid Chances in Undergraduate College if completed High School from a Prep/Boarding school?

  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 71,747 Senior Member
    Your son's need based aid at any Ivy League school will be based on the income for your FAFSA and Profile the year he applies. The tax year used will be two years before his actual enrollment. So if he is starting college in 2020, the 2018 taxes will be used to complete the 2020-2012 FAFSA and Profile.

    The Ivy League schools do not give merit aid, only need based aid.

  • SoaringHighSoaringHigh Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    Thank you so much thumper1 for your reply. Do these schools have a income limit beyond which they do not give need based financial aid. At this point our net cumulative family income is less than $120,000. Do they look at other asstes, like homes and retirement saving? By the way he graduates high school in 2019.
  • BelknapPointBelknapPoint Registered User Posts: 3,839 Senior Member
    Do they look at other asstes, like homes and retirement saving?

    Most of the top schools will look at primary home equity, as well as equity in other real estate. Assets in qualified retirement accounts (401(k), 403(b), IRAs, etc.) will not be considered, unless the amount is ginormous.

    By the way he graduates high school in 2019.

    In that case your and his 2017 income will be looked at in considering freshman year need-based aid.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 71,747 Senior Member
    This varies by college. Schools do look at assets. Some schools consider home equity to a greater or lesser degree.

    Your balances in your retirement accounts (IRS, TSA...authorized retirement accounts, not just a regular savings) are not counted. BUT for the 2019-2020 school year, you will be using the 2017 income tax information. Any contributions you MAKE to pretax retirement accounts are added back in as income. So if your income is $120,000 and you each make $20,000 of contributions to your TSA or IRA accounts, this would add $40,000 to your income.

    Here is my suggestion. Each college has a net price calculator on their website. These are reset during the summer before school begins each year so yours would really be the one reset fall of your kid's senior year in HS...so what is on there now might not along with what will be on there for students enrolling in 2019. Still...plug your financial information into a few net price calculators, and see what they say.,this will give you an estimate anyway of your possible net costs at each school.

    You need to do EACH school. What applies to one school might not be accurate for another. Each school uses its own formulas for awarding of institutional need based aid.

    Also, if you have any of the following, the net price calculators might not be so accurate.

    1. Parents are divorced.

    2. Parents are self employed or own a business.

    3. Parents own real estate in addition to their primary residence.

  • SoaringHighSoaringHigh Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    Thanks so much for the suggestions.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 19,334 Senior Member
    His financial aid from a college should be exactly the same whether he graduates from a private prep school or a public high school. FA is based on income and assets of the family.
  • SeekingPamSeekingPam Registered User Posts: 790 Member
    If you have younger children who attend private school, some top schools will take that into account (consider it another tuition you are paying and to some extent increase your need aid), others will not.

    NPC is the place to start.

    In general you are expected to contribute 5.65% of your assets and savings (excluding 401ks and IRAs) and 20% of your income each year to college (very roughly). It is significantly higher if your son has assets, his assets are counted at 20-25% and income at 40% roughly.

    Rental property is counted at 100% of equity (value minus any mortgages) while home equity varies. Very few schools count home equity at full value, most limit it to 1-2.4X income in what they count so. $120,000 x 2.4 would be the most SOME schools would count towards college, there are a few that count it at full value but not many in the category you are looking into.

  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 71,747 Senior Member
    In general you are expected to contribute 5.65% of your assets and savings (excluding 401ks and IRAs) and 20% of your income each year to college (very roughly). It is significantly higher if your son has assets, his assets are counted at 20-25% and income at 40% roughly.

    These figures are for FAFSA calculations only. Schools using the Profile can very well use very different numbers.
  • GMTplus7GMTplus7 Registered User Posts: 14,567 Senior Member
    Why would the name of the high school have any bearing on the calculation for FA?

  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 71,747 Senior Member
    Why would the name of the high school have any bearing on the calculation for FA?

    It doesn't. And furthermore...prep schools use a very different calculation for need based aid than colleges do. So a student might receive substantial need based aid from some prep school, and not so much from colleges.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 84,079 Forum Champion
    ^^^

    That is an important point. Prep schools have been known to expect families to pay much less than colleges expect.
  • blossomblossom Registered User Posts: 8,992 Senior Member
    Private schools have enormous discretion over aid.

    The "committee" is frequently the headmaster, the head of the board of trustees, and a parent who is discreet and knows many families at the school. The "guidelines" for aid can be suggestions- and a headmaster can and will go to bat for a family where the kid adds something special to the student body but the aid forms don't tell the entire story.

    Colleges can use discretion- but there is much more transparency over the process.

    OP- don't assume your college aid will look like your HS aid.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 84,079 Forum Champion
    ^
    Exactly.

    Also, I think there's a realization at prep schools that families don't "save" for prep schools like they can save for college. Saving for both would be nearly impossible unless wealthy.
This discussion has been closed.