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The top 10 colleges for financial aid

Dave_BerryDave_Berry 492 replies2647 threadsCC Admissions Expert Senior Member
"Here are the schools that are doling out the most aid to offset the cost of college, according to The Princeton Review's 2019 ranking. The top 10 are all private, many of which have sky-high tuition prices, but their very generous aid packages tell a different story." ...

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Replies to: The top 10 colleges for financial aid

  • suzy100suzy100 5695 replies58 threads Senior Member
    Weird list. It puts Vandy at the top because of its merit scholarships, so it's really not an "aid" package. And it rates WashU higher than Princeton, even though Princeton's average out of pocket cost is about 15K lower than WashU's.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23369 replies17 threads Senior Member
    It also is, I think, the averages of those who receive FA and doesn't average in those who are full pay.
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  • northwestynorthwesty 3544 replies9 threads Senior Member
    That Princeton net price is for only those who qualify for need aid.

    Princeton is 39% full pay (only need based). Vandy is 37% full pay (including need and merit aid). Actually 34% (if you add in athletic scholarships too).

    Princeton's average need award is $54k. Vandy's average need award is $50k. Vandy's average merit award is $24k ($0 at Princeton). Vandy's average athletic scholarship is $51k ($0 at Princeton).

    Money is money. So Vandy > Princeton.

    Princeton's sticker price is lower than you would think.
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  • Sam-I-AmSam-I-Am 587 replies22 threads Member
    Suzy100, Vanderbilt's aid awarded goes way beyond it three signature scholarships, which are awarded need blind. Once awarded, if a student requires additional aid for room, board, books, transportation, then that is added on as well. There are over 250 signature scholarships offered (Chancellor's, Ingram, and Cornelius Vanderbilt; and all include full tuition plus summer study grant plus whatever need remains).
    Beyond those, there are substantial additional scholarships and aid (no doubt the bulk of the aid goes to need). Blind merit aid appears to be just a piece of Vandy's offerings which have been noted to be the most generous in the country this past year by Princeton Review. My kid was awarded a Chancellor's Scholarship and another kid from the same high school who was similarly ranked attends using an unnamed scholarship(s) possibly supplemented by FA. Another received an athletic scholarship. All three kids are attending Vandy and need is being met for all...and the merit award was given need blind. I would not hold the presence of merit aid against the schools that offer it. I would count it as a huge positive. In fact merit aid offered for academic and extracurricular and community activities are a good counterbalance to the merit aid that is given out in the form of athletic scholarships all across the country. It is just a piece of the financial offerings. Nothing weird about any of this, just exceptional reasons for all applicants to apply! If you look at Vandy's signature scholarships, they awarded with community involvement, leadership and volunteerism in mind. I wish more highly ranked schools would follow suit. Check out the Vanderbilt signature scholarship webpage and you will see that they are being offered for terrific reasons!
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  • twocollegekidstwocollegekids 114 replies6 threads Junior Member
    My child received 13K from Williams. Not full pay, but close.
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  • psycholingpsycholing 415 replies19 threads Member
    @twocollegekids Tuition plus fees at Williams is over 55k. Is 13k really "close", or is that a typo?
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  • MA2012MA2012 1236 replies1 threads Senior Member
    @psycholing I read that as @twocollegekds saying even with $13k in aid it’s close to full pay.
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  • PortiaOKNathanPortiaOKNathan 14 replies0 threads New Member
    edited September 2018
    I agree undercrackers! We've gone both the state and private route with our kids, and we are definitely middle class. The private route actually worked out to be cheaper oddly enough, but only because our state school tuition increased drastically. If you are middle class, and your kids can get into one of the top 20 or so private universities, you may be surprised at the FA they offer. But in any case, the state schools are a great alternative. BTW many community colleges now offer 2 + 2 agreements that can really save some bucks and guarantee admission to a particular 4 year school.
    edited September 2018
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  • JOberlanderJOberlander 15 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Texas schools are the best deal right now if you can get even a $1000 scholarship. They waive the out of state surcharge, so 8-9K a year is common.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78976 replies701 threads Senior Member
    Everyone talks about either the top end (full pay) or the bottom end (heavy financial aid), but it's always the middle income folks that will have the toughest time making a private school education work.

    Actual middle income is about at the top of Pell Grant eligibility, so the rich good FA private schools would give heavy FA to students from those families.

    Of course, many private schools have worse FA, but they are typically worse for low as well as middle income families.

    But what you probably really mean is the forum "upper middle class" with income in the $150,000 to $250,000 range.
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  • suzy100suzy100 5695 replies58 threads Senior Member
    @Sam-I-Am, I'm not knocking Vandy's aid. I'm just saying by including scholarships that are not based on need, it's not an apples to apples comparison. I think Vandy's merit scholarships are wonderful - my nephew benefited from one.
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