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Need ideas - northeast & need aid - pure math & comp sci

melodyb75melodyb75 9 replies14 threads Junior Member
Hi, my son is a junior in HS, need ideas of colleges to start looking at. He lives in Delaware, goes to a top public/charter high school, but wants to attend college out of state, preferably in the northeast - NY state, New England, but MD, Ohio, Virginia, etc might be ok too - he'd like to be a few hours from home. He's a good student, GPA @ 3.8 and taking AP Calc this year. Might (based on past tests) qualify for national merit semifinalist on the PSAT (he'd be close, has ranked in the 97-99th percentile before on practice exams)… anyhow, so his SAT should be pretty high (1480-1500??). He wants to probably double major in math, but more "pure math" not actuarial, etc & computer science.
But we have no idea of what we can afford because right now my husband is not working so our income is a lot less than before. If that continues, we'd qualify for need-based aid, but we'd like to find some places with possible good merit aid too. He doesn't really have any extracurriculars so I'm not even sure what "selectiveness" of colleges to look at that he would have good chances of admission to... He did visit Univ of Maryland College Park and seems to like a large public school. But its really early in the process to rule out smaller colleges - he did not like NJIT due to urban setting/feel of the school.
Any ideas? Sorry for the long post.
20 replies
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Replies to: Need ideas - northeast & need aid - pure math & comp sci

  • BuckeyeMWDSGBuckeyeMWDSG 920 replies9 threads Member
    With Ohio publics (Ohio State, Miami University, etc.) make sure to meet their early action deadlines to be eligible for the most merit aid possible.

    Case Western is a good school that meets need, but also has the ability to be very generous with merit aid for some students.
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  • merc81merc81 10799 replies173 threads Senior Member
    edited November 2019
    The Princeton Review lists potential suggestions under "Great Schools for Mathematics Majors" (available through its print edition). If he'd like to explore some ideas, he could look into Northeastern schools such as Haverford, Hamilton and URochester from the sampling.

    For a convenient cost estimator for certain colleges, this resource can be helpful: https://myintuition.org/.
    edited November 2019
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  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 13212 replies247 threads Senior Member
    He doesn't really have any extracurriculars

    For some schools this won't matter.

    But I bet he DOES have extracurriculars, unless he watches TV all the time. Reading is an EC, videogaming can be, work for money is....also typical school based stuff like clubs and sports teams. What does he do when not in school?
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  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 13212 replies247 threads Senior Member
    we have no idea of what we can afford because right now my husband is not working so our income is a lot less than before. If that continues, we'd qualify for need-based aid, but we'd like to find some places with possible good merit aid too.

    For need based aid schools will mainly look 2 years back, at least on FAFSA - Profile will consider that but also more recent info.

    There are merit options, a handful guaranteed.

    I think you need to come up with a "we can pay x per year" number that works with your finances as they are now, if things improve then reassess but at least he'd have for-sure options.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 8285 replies70 threads Senior Member
    Generally speaking out of state public flagships in the NE and mid Atlantic, like UMD, are not going to be the most generous with aid.

    If your son gets NMF, that will open up a lot of options for big merit but most of those schools are not in your target area.

    I agree with OHmomof2 that you need to figure out a budget first and create the safety list based on that, and once your son has test scores.
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  • melodyb75melodyb75 9 replies14 threads Junior Member
    Right now, we could pay maybe $5,000/yr plus he could borrow $5,000/yr... We have another son in college too so unless my husband finds a job, we are dependent on aid.
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  • BuckeyeMWDSGBuckeyeMWDSG 920 replies9 threads Member
    Start with automatic scholarships. At UAH even with a full oos tuition and housing scholarship in 2018 we would have paid almost $9,000/yr (fees, student health insurance, meal plan, travel, etc.)
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  • kidzncatzkidzncatz 1034 replies7 threads Senior Member
    More than a few hours from home (more like 8+) but the University of Toledo has good merit scholarships for out of state students. With your son's stats, cost of attendance (including tuition, fees, room, and board but not books, travel, or personal expenses) would probably be around $16,000, if available scholarships are roughly the same next year. Other Ohio public universities also have merit scholarships available for out of state students.

    West Virginia University is another good possibility for merit scholarships.

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  • TheodenTheoden 238 replies7 threads Junior Member

    Well...there are several things going on.

    1. You probably will need your son's SAT score, since, if you're chasing merit, that's one of the factors schools look at.

    2. Then, you might want to consider type of school...Big? Medium? Small? Public? Private. Once you narrow that down, you will have clearer options. Schools with math and CS.

    3. Lots of schools have net price calculators. But keep in mind, the fact that you have another son in college will factor in what you can afford (FAFSA and CSS)

    4. Also, what will happen if you husband finds a job? I think the FAFSA you will file next year Fall 2020 for financial aid will be based on 2019 income tax form. You may also need to state when he lost his job. When your son re-applies for financial aid his freshman year of college for his sophomore year, they will go on your 2020 income. As you know, your need-based aid package will fluctuate based on your financial situation. A heavy and generous need based package might be less attractive if you get a high paying job. I'm guessing that's why you are looking at merit as well, which carries over all four years.

    5. Is it likely your husband's income will be restored to the same level? If you can run the net price calculators with his old income and your situation now what would your net price look like in both scenarios?
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 8285 replies70 threads Senior Member
    I would also add that you may need to manage your son's expectations. You have a great affordable public flagship in Delaware. Going out of state, especially to NE is going to be a luxury that might not happen for undergrad.

    I would also encourage you to plan ahead for when your husband does find re-employment. If your son is at an expensive school that lowers the aid package, will you be able to continue to fund him through graduation?

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  • coolguy40coolguy40 2529 replies3 threads Senior Member
    edited November 2019
    If you can afford $5,000 a year, you're going to be $25,000 short each year if you go out of state for school. You can't afford to send him out of state. Don't fall into the trap of co-signing private debt to pay for tuition either. That has the potential to wreck his future. Technology is a comfortable profession, but it takes time to build work experience. By the time he drives a BMW, his student loans will be paid off, so he needs to expect a modest salary for a little while.

    Realistically his options are (1) go to a SUNY school, or (2) find a scholarship that will allow him to go out of state. With a high demand field like technology, it doesn't matter where he goes to school.

    The east coast and parts of the midwest are a very over-represented area, so scholarships are probably not going to happen in the states he wants to go to. Here are a few universities I know of that offer generous merit scholarships:

    1. University of Alabama(Presidential Scholarship)
    2. University if KY
    3. University if AZ
    4. LSU
    5. Texas State University
    6. University of Wyoming
    edited November 2019
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  • merc81merc81 10799 replies173 threads Senior Member
    edited November 2019
    Though SUNYs represent reasonably affordable choices for out-of-state students, note that the OP's son resides in Delaware.
    edited November 2019
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 79703 replies712 threads Senior Member
    SUNYs won't have a net price <= $10k for an out of state student outside of commuting range.

    To the OP: what do the net price calculators of Delaware state universities say?
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  • gummybear202gummybear202 37 replies7 threads Junior Member
    edited November 2019
    For getting financial aid, your best bet is private schools. Ik that University of Florida has low tuition costs for a public school if he is dead set on going OOS (just an idea).

    My advice is that it does not hurt to apply and you should see which schools give the best financial aid packages. You can actually use them as leverage to bargain with other schools to get more money.

    I would consider:
    University of Maryland
    Penn State
    Boston University
    University of Chicago
    Wesleyan University
    American University
    George Washington University

    Also, some schools will give automatic scholarships if they have above a certain ACT/SAT score (i.e. University of Alabama), so it's important to look into that.

    It doesn't hurt to apply anywhere! You never know how much money you can get from a school and you should look at the financial aid calculators on every school's website. All in all, even if he ends up at Delaware thats a great school and they do have a good honors program!

    edited November 2019
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  • NJWrestlingmomNJWrestlingmom 1370 replies2 threads Senior Member
    Penn State is notoriously expensive for OOS kids.
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  • NJEngineerDadNJEngineerDad 178 replies1 threads Junior Member
    @melodyb75 I find it hard to make any recommendation without fully understanding your financial situation. You original post suggests that you would not qualify for any financial aid if your husband was working. Was your income over 250K/year when your husband was working? Would you have been able to spend 75K/year in a private school? On the other hand in your second post you wrote you can currently afford to spend 5K/year and borrow another 5K/year (for a total of 10K/year). Is that in line with what the schools would expect you to pay?

    In any event, public out-of-state schools are unlikely to give any need-based help, and public out-of-state schools in the northeast are also unlikely to give any significant merit-based help. So if your budget is limited to 10K/year the public out-of-state schools in the northeast are basically not an option.

    A few top private schools in the northeast might give a lot of need-based help but with a projected SAT score below 1500 they are reaches at best.

    So that pretty much only leaves Delaware in-state and public out-of-state schools in the south as options. Hopefully your son becomes a national merit finalist and he accepts an offer in a state like Florida, Alabama or Arizona...
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  • BostonKnowsBostonKnows 20 replies1 threads Junior Member
    I suggest applying primarily to your state school with a couple of generous regional universities as it will likely be your lowest cost option, both now and in the future.

    Rarely will a school give full tuition and board for a student with less than perfect SATs/4.0 GPA and amazing ECs unless the student is a minority, etc. Spending $2,000 on applications hoping for $20,000 need or merit aid off a $70,000 tuition bill annually ends in tears and disappointment for everyone. If you and your son tour lots of fancy campuses, it can be very depressing when the offers roll in but not wit enough money to attend without massive debt. YOu will need to sign for parent loans as he can only sign for $5500 his freshman year.

    If your son is a star, you will find out soon with SAT and subject tests. If he is above average your state schools will fill the bill and he can always transfer if your circumstances and his GPA put him at the top of his class. He may need grad school, so another reason to save his college dollars. Lastly, engineering and comp sci are the most egalitarian degrees--prestige does not matter--lots of jobs in those majors will be waiting for him no matter where he goes. Best of luck!
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  • SybyllaSybylla 4148 replies53 threads Senior Member
    edited November 2019
    Focus on instate options. Review when you get test results. As above, manage all your expectations. Your absolute priority is an affordable option. Finances are not clear, did your DH get packaged out of his last job? What year was that? Is that in savings accounts? Know that even if your kid has say a 1500/3.8 that big merit isn't common and your $$ number only covers <room and board . Maybe a southern school will be affordable. Gummybears list is not what I would work from. Have you run any NPCs? You need to look at that first.
    edited November 2019
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  • momprof9904momprof9904 400 replies3 threads Member
    Agree with others about in-state options. UDel has a well respected program in both math and CS. Start your list there - the instate tuition is reasonable. Every year, our local high school in NJ sends a contingent of kids to UDel, paying OOS tuition to help support the beautiful campus. Only heard good things about the school.

    For math and CS, pretty much every flagship in the NE area is pretty strong. Aside from the campus differences, the programs themselves are pretty similar.

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