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Duke Financial Aid Appeal

lostsenior999lostsenior999 3 replies1 threads New Member
First off, I'd like to say that I'm absolutely ecstatic to be accepted to Duke class of 2024!

Duke is my #1 out of all the schools I've been admitted to and I'd really like to go. However, the financial aid I received is a bit out of my league. The algorithm FAFSA used really screwed us over, with my mom losing her job this year and savings that don't reflect our financial status.
f anyone had any advice on how to appeal my aid (amount?), it would be greatly appreciated! Also, what, generally, is the probability of Duke accepting my appeal?
17 replies
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Replies to: Duke Financial Aid Appeal

  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama 84331 replies1049 threads Forum Champion
    Duke is a CSS school so FAFSA hardly Mattered

    Did you tell Duke your Mom lost her job? what is you family's income now?

    bow much in assets? Does your family take business deductions
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  • sybbie719sybbie719 20947 replies2051 threads Super Moderator
    For Duke the only thing the FAFSa dies us determine your eligibility fir federal aid

    Duke uses the CSS profile to distribute their institutional funds

    How long has it been since your mom lost her job

    Did she receive severance
    Was it a lump sum or is it being paid out over time?
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  • lostsenior999lostsenior999 3 replies1 threads New Member
    Thank you so much for the replies!

    My mom lost her job February of 2020 and she didn't receive severance. She works as a researcher and her boss/lab didn't get a grant, so they completely closed down the lab. I mentioned it in my CSS in 2019 when things were still a bit up in the air, though.

    One other big thing that probably affected my aid was our savings. It's been my dad's dream to move to Florida after I graduate from high school for quite a few years now. Ever since then, my parents have been saving up all of our money and, combined with old savings, finally have enough to hopefully cover most of the costs of moving down there. However, this is a veryyyy large sum of money that's pretty much going to go down to 0 by the end of the summer.

    We don't have a business nor much more in the asset department.
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  • Erin's DadErin's Dad 34017 replies4672 threads Super Moderator
    You will need to contact the FA office and ask for Professional Judgment to see if they will raise your offer based on your mom losing her job. As far as the savings, the college expects that to be available for your tuition and fees. If your parents really do intend to move it may be better to reapply next year or ask for a gap year keeping the admission.
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  • BelknapPointBelknapPoint 4926 replies19 threads Senior Member
    As far as the savings, the college expects that to be available for your tuition and fees. If your parents really do intend to move it may be better to reapply next year or ask for a gap year keeping the admission.

    I agree. If your parents have a veryyyy large sum of money saved up, Duke will expect that at least some of this money can be used to fund your education. The fact that the money has been set aside to pay for a move to Florida will simply be looked at as a choice your parents have made.
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  • politepersonpoliteperson 571 replies4 threads Member
    I wouldn’t expect them to change how they treat the savings unless you received a very different estimate from the NPC. Even once that savings is held in home equity in a new house in FL, I don’t think Duke is going to ignore it. Play with the NPC to see what difference it makes. You can check with them on how to inform them of the job loss and ask for them to consider it. You won’t be the only one asking this question. Good luck!
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  • lostsenior999lostsenior999 3 replies1 threads New Member
    Thank you all so much for the advice! I've contacted the FA office and am currently waiting for a response :)
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  • NJdad07090NJdad07090 563 replies8 threads Member
    Did you run a NPC at Duke? How much did you get and how much do you think you will need? If your parents dream was to move to Fla( from where) Duke may not care if your mom lost her job because they may think she was gonna quit to move to Fla anyway.
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  • SybyllaSybylla 4769 replies59 threads Senior Member
    That money isn't going to be used up anytime soon for a move to Florida, make sure you have a coherent argument for not using that very large savings fund on an expensive private school. The argument is that Duke isn't floating their dream retirement. What affordable school options do you have?
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 24569 replies19 threads Senior Member
    You could take a gap year, move to Florida, buy the house and put the savings into equity. I don't know if Duke considers equity in a house, but even if they do it is likely they consider it in a better light as equity in the primary residence than as a big hunk of money sitting in the bank.
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  • SybyllaSybylla 4769 replies59 threads Senior Member
    Is your dad actually retired or is planning on retiring?
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  • lostsenior999lostsenior999 3 replies1 threads New Member
    Omg I've somehow completely failed to mention that my dad got a job offer down in FL. Yes, it's been my parent's dream, but the job offer also lined up perfectly time-wise which is the main reason why we're moving down.

    @NJdad07090 I ran an NPC with the amount of savings we currently have vs how much we would have after and there's a difference of about 20k. NPC (current savings) vs actual financial aid-wise, NPC is lower by 6k.
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  • MobsterDolphinMobsterDolphin 27 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Duke financial aid is incredibly stubborn. Will Duke FinAid change their mind? Frankly, I'm doubtful. They rarely do. Definitely try it but I don't think they'll budge.

    If you want to go to Duke, your best bet:

    Delay for a year. Do some service, get a job, figure yourself out. Your parents' finances will change and your financial aid package will reflect that change. This also gives you time to apply for ROTC/Roberston scholars if your finaid package doesn't improve. My friend is in ROTC and loves it. Getting out of school debt free and with leadership experience isn't the worst deal.

    If you don't want to do that, then go to a school with a better finaid package. Your carrier will be okay. No worries. It'll all work out.
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  • coolguy40coolguy40 2889 replies8 threads Senior Member
    It really sounds like Duke isn't affordable for you. Even if she gets another job, it creates a lot of uncertainty, and things can get worse REALLY fast..especially now. You would probably be better off choosing an affordable in-state university. Now is really a bad time to be going somewhere exotic.
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  • isitfridayyetisitfridayyet 51 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Just want to add my 2 cents regarding Dukes financial aid. It is absolutely ridiculous- if you are a small business owner forget getting any aid, but that's not my gripe. We appealed within days of receiving our award letter... it was obvious they did not know how to address small business owners. In addition to explaining our situation again (was detailed in the CSS to begin with), we appealed based on job loss due to COVID-19. We did everything we were asked to do... special online appeal form, all records, supporting documentation, zoom calls, emails, emails, emails. Even explained that daughter was in the running for Robertson Scholar prior to them axing the program. Last communication from Duke was 4/13 in which they said they would have the results of the appeal THAT DAY. TODAY IS 4/30 and they STILL have provided NO information. Everyone knows students must commit by 5/1. I have emailed the financial aid rep and the main fin aid email address asking repeatedly for the result of our appeal- they will not answer.... NO RESPONSE... SILENT TREATMENT. They will not answer emails, are not available by phone and you can no longer schedule an online conference call. I cannot understand why they would treat an admitted student this way, especially one so highly regarded to have been in the running for a full-ride there. So long Duke... taking a much better than full-ride offer at a school that really does care about it's students, sorry for your loss.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30280 replies59 threads Senior Member
    I suggest you put your case together for a financial aid review. That your mother lost her job might make the difference. You can show the difference in what that income loss does in their own NPC.

    I do not believe your family savings for a new place in Florida is going to be ignored. Why should it be? There are families who make a college education for their kids a priority over a move like that. Why should your family be rewarded for not prioritizing college costs? But assets generally have a lower impact on financial aid.

    Do understand that when your mother finds another job, it will likely change the financial aid picture. That there might be additional expenses is not going to cut it. You should have a discussion with your parents as to what they can and will pay for your colleg. Run some Duke NPCs with several possible scenarios such as your mother getting another job and get a gauge of what is going to be doable. It happens too often that students get caught in the situation of not being able to come up with the college costs because their parents bit off more than they could chew in terms of the college budget.
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  • DellCalculatorDellCalculator 0 replies1 threads New Member
    My financial aid appeal was successful (similar situation to OP's, without the moving to Florida part). I filled out the COVID appeal form on the financial aid website and I had an updated offer the next day.
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