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Getting more money

kcdunlapkcdunlap Registered User Posts: 237 Junior Member
Does anybody have suggestions on how to approach the FA office to try to get more grants/Scholarships?

We got my sons FA packet today...while it is good; we need it to be better.

I'm not sure the best way to approach them..
Post edited by kcdunlap on
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Replies to: Getting more money

  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 70,996 Senior Member
    kc....not sure exactly what you are asking. Schools have specific criteria for merit awards (scholarships that are based on strength of the student)...and they also have formulas they use to compute need based aid.

    Some questions:

    1. Does the college meet full need for all student?

    2. Did the college meet your need but you need assistance with the family contribution?

    3. Do you have financial need?

    4. RE: merit awards...does the school guarantee merit aid? Did your student get any?

    5. What is the "gap" between what you need and what you got? If it's a smaller amount, you MIGHT have more success than if it's a HUGE amount.

    6. Did your student get any financial aid offers from "peer schools" (schools that are very similar in terms of demographics to this one)?

    7. Was this a financial aid offer with an ED decision?
  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Super Moderator Posts: 35,739 Super Moderator
    If you have a better FA offer from a PEER school then you could show that to the school of interest. Some schools will try to meet that aid offer to get the student.
  • emeraldkity4emeraldkity4 Registered User Posts: 35,861 Senior Member
    Is this for Pace or Fordham? Neither school meets 100% of need & students have about $38,000 in debt at graduation. The admission rate to Fordham is about half that of Pace, I don't know about using Pace as a peer school for reevaluation.
    Are there other schools with more attractive packages?
  • kcdunlapkcdunlap Registered User Posts: 237 Junior Member
    thumper1 wrote:
    Some questions:

    Does the college meet full need for all student?
    Per College boards meets 77% on average
    Average indebtedness 36,000


    2. Did the college meet your need but you need assistance with the family contribution?
    I’m not sure by what you mean by meet your need but need assistance with the family contribution?

    Do you have financial need?
    Yes

    4. RE: merit awards...does the school guarantee merit aid? Did your student get any?
    Not sure that we expected merit awards (don’t know what the qualifications would be); none of the line items are listed as merit aid so I guess the answer is no.

    What is the "gap" between what you need and what you got? If it's a smaller amount, you MIGHT have more success than if it's a HUGE amount.
    The amount of loans listed on the FA letter totals $33,000 for the Year. I don’t expect to get all of that but we need to be lower to try to make it work.

    6. Did your student get any financial aid offers from "peer schools" (schools that are very similar in terms of demographics to this one)?

    Don’t have FA letters from other schools yet. But the fact that his total acceptance is based on audition acceptance we are still waiting out 3 other schools.

    Was this a financial aid offer with an ED decision?
    No
    Is this for Pace or Fordham? Neither school meets 100% of need & students have about $38,000 in debt at graduation. The admission rate to Fordham is about half that of Pace, I don't know about using Pace as a peer school for reevaluation.
    Are there other schools with more attractive packages?

    This is Pace. Still waiting on Fordham. The debt he accumulate in 1 year would be $33,000; Four years would be greater than $100,000. No other packages yet so we are waiting it out.
  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Super Moderator Posts: 35,739 Super Moderator
    I wouldn't recommend going over $33K of debt for the entire degree, never mind for a year. Does your S have a safety for admission that you can afford?
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 83,901 Forum Champion
    In another thread, you indicate that you have a very low EFC.


    "Does the college meet full need for all student?
    ---
    Per College boards meets 77% on average
    Average indebtedness 36,000

    2. Did the college meet your need but you need assistance with the family contribution?
    --
    I’m not sure by what you mean by meet your need but need assistance with the family contribution?"


    The average need met means nothing...especially to a family with a low EFC. A school can meet 100% of need with students with high EFCs with a student loan...which will throw off their reported averages.


    If your son would get $33k in debt for ONE YEAR, then that's totally unaccepable. I highly doubt this school will work because even if the school were to give you a few thousand more each year (say $8k), your son would still have $100k in debt!

    As others have reported, even when they are successful with getting adjustments, the adjustments are just for a couple of thousand per year....not $20k+ per year which your son would need.

    No student (especially one in an entertainment major) should have more than $30k in debt at graduation. Repaying those loans is difficult.


    I hope your son has some good financial safety schools because neither Fordham nor Pace may be affordable.
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Registered User Posts: 28,090 Senior Member
    Your son has received what is gently termed an "admit/deny". He can frame his acceptance letter and know that he's good enough to be admitted. However, there is no way that your family can justify spending that kind of money on his education, so he needs to stop dreaming about this place and make plans to study elsewhere.

    No undergraduate degree on the entire planet is worth $100,000 in debt. Most of us would say there aren't any places worth even half that much debt. You and your son should do your level best to keep his debt within the limits of the Stafford (and Perkins if offered at his school) Loan program.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 70,996 Senior Member
    Pace does not guarantee to meet the full need of all accepted students. It sounds like they didn't come close. $30,000 a year in debt is too much as you have already noted. The school might be able to give you a little more in things like Work Study or perhaps an increase in grant money but it's not very likely to be in the $30,000 range...I would venture you might only see a couple thousand dollar increase, if anything at all.

    I think you are very aware that funding this with loans is not going to be realistic.

    You certainly can talk to Pace about this award....and you should. But have a plan B just in case the finances don't work out there.
  • kcdunlapkcdunlap Registered User Posts: 237 Junior Member
    In another thread, you indicate that you have a very low EFC.
    Yes, EFC is 0

    "Does the college meet full need for all student?
    ---
    Per College boards meets 77% on average
    Average indebtedness 36,000

    2. Did the college meet your need but you need assistance with the family contribution?
    --
    I’m not sure by what you mean by meet your need but need assistance with the family contribution?"


    The average need met means nothing...especially to a family with a low EFC. A school can meet 100% of need with students with high EFCs with a student loan...which will throw off their reported averages.

    Thanks that helps me understand. Even though I have 2 in college one took on debt and one got everything covered. So, this is new to me.


    If your son would get $33k in debt for ONE YEAR, then that's totally unaccepable. I highly doubt this school will work because even if the school were to give you a few thousand more each year (say $8k), your son would still have $100k in debt!

    As others have reported, even when they are successful with getting adjustments, the adjustments are just for a couple of thousand per year....not $20k+ per year which your son would need.

    No student (especially one in an entertainment major) should have more than $30k in debt at graduation. Repaying those loans is difficult.


    I hope your son has some good financial safety schools because neither Fordham nor Pace may be affordable.
    *
    Having large debt in his major is exactly what we are hoping to avoid. We knew that NYU would be impossible but we were hoping the other schools might be a little easier. As far as safety schools I’d have to say not really; so I guess we will have to wing it when it comes figuring out what to do once we get all the acceptances or denials.
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Registered User Posts: 28,090 Senior Member
    What about SUNY Purchase for the performing arts? If you are NYS residents it will be pretty affordable. Happykid is a Theater Tech/Design major. She's finishing up her AA in Theater Tech at our local community college, and will transfer elsewhere this fall. It has saved us a bundle. She did not apply to any place that required a portfolio/interview because we knew in advance that none of those institutions would be remotely affordable for us.
  • kcdunlapkcdunlap Registered User Posts: 237 Junior Member
    What about SUNY Purchase for the performing arts? If you are NYS residents it will be pretty affordable. Happykid is a Theater Tech/Design major. She's finishing up her AA in Theater Tech at our local community college, and will transfer elsewhere this fall. It has saved us a bundle. She did not apply to any place that required a portfolio/interview because we knew in advance that none of those institutions would be remotely affordable for us.

    First unfortunately we are not NYS residents.

    We spend a lots travel to NYC for auditions already but not enough to fully cover those expense so we were hoping to have him attend a college in NYC to eliminate the cost and the constant stress of travel.

    We will have to play it by ear at this point. Can't make any decisions until we get all the other acceptance or denials. Yet, I'm not giving up. I will definitely try to have constructive talks with FA office at some point to try to see if we can get more aid. I won't say uncle until I've turned over every stone....

    Thanks for all of the comments.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 83,901 Forum Champion
    I wish schools would get rid of that stat about "average need met". It really isn't helpful unless that average is like 95% or more (and isn't a public school - which I know that Pace isn't).


    If your son doesn't have any safety schools, I suggest quickly looking in your home area for some that will still accept apps. Do you live in NY? Do you live near NYC? If so, are there any CUNY or SUNY schools that might work?

    I see that you either co-signed big loans or took out big Plus loans for another child to attend NYU......which the child has agreed to be responsible for paying back. I'm guessing that you understand the risk involved with being a 0 EFC family who could end up being responsible for some/all of those loans (sometimes kids can make partial payments, but parents still have to kick in some money each month in order for the loans to stay current. Kids may have the best of intentions, but sometimes "regular living expenses" are so high because of where entertainment careers are located, that there's not enough left over for these young grads to make large loan payments.).

    I would strongly caution against doing the same for this child. You may find your own credit seriously damaged. I know it can be hard to say "no" once you've said "yes" to another child, but this is very risky stuff for a 0 EFC family.


    Edited to add.... I see that you're not NY residents. What state are you in?
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Registered User Posts: 28,090 Senior Member
    Does your son need to be in college right now? Would it make more sense for him to just move to the NYC area, get one of those jobs that people get when they are spending hours each week at auditions, and go to auditions? If he gets a performance gig, he'll be making money. Depending on residency rules, he may be able to qualify as in-state within a year or two (check this out) which would make the SUNY/CUNY institutions affordable.
  • kcdunlapkcdunlap Registered User Posts: 237 Junior Member
    @mom2collegekids

    He did apply to Hunter CUNY but we haven't heard but as non NYS residents I'm sure it's a long shot but that is definitely cheaper even when trying to find housing.

    My dd that has the large loans - I have full confidence in her reliability to pay; even in these bad economic times she has a number of people that have told her they are committed to finding her a job in her industry because she is highly salable talents to an employer. So, I really don't have to many worries about that. She is very frugal to boot and has her priorities already lined up - rent, food then loans...

    But the fact that my younger son wants to be an actor I don't want to have him to have that type of loan debt because of the craziness of the industry.

    It's not a matter of saying yes and no - due to other issues our credit is crap and we can't co-sign on loans for him. He is aware that he won't get outside help from us...

    @Happymomof1

    That maybe a discussion we might have if nothing works out. He may be better served living in NYC not going to college but taking industry classes. I think he might like the college experience but not for 10's of thousands of dollar indebtedness.

    His sister lives in NYC - so there is a connection to find roommates if the college thing doesn't work out. The next few months will be interesting to while we ride the roller coaster.
  • emeraldkity4emeraldkity4 Registered User Posts: 35,861 Senior Member
    Does he "have" to be in NYC?
    I ask because I know there are thriving theatre communities all over the country.
    My daughters best friend in college (inOregon) earned a theatre degree & while he did move to NYC after graduation, he also found some plum acting gigs. (including the one that earned him a Obie)

    I think he is now at UCLA getting his masters.

    He needs affordable choices, does he have any schools that are less expensive/offer merit?
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