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Financial Aid Unfair? psh, It's Absurd!

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Replies to: Financial Aid Unfair? psh, It's Absurd!

  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Registered User Posts: 26,432 Senior Member
    A lot of these private schools are hurting to keep up and they always cut the financial aid. PROFILE really goes after the gold in your teeth, and your parents', cuz that's where the gold is.

    Also with some of the PROFILE schools, if you apply as a non need student and then apply for aid, you have to show what your status was when you applied. Unless there is some drastic change in circumstances, like another student going to college, lost income, catastrophe, they won't give you the money. THese are the schools that are not need blind for admissions but guarantee meet need for all they accept. They don't want any games played.
  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Super Moderator Posts: 34,348 Super Moderator
    People can be remarkably righteous about how schools use their own money.
  • keepingitlightkeepingitlight Registered User Posts: 265 Junior Member
    We are grateful for every penny of FA our son got.....whether it met our "need" or not. Having said that, the only real bone I have to pick with the process is the issue of geographic cost of living.....and it's my understanding that most schools do not make the distinction between a family of 5 with an AGI of $100,000 that is living in Iowa and a family with "equal" earnings that is living in NYC.
  • dietz199dietz199 Registered User Posts: 3,142 Senior Member
    ^^My guess is the schools, like a group of posters on this thread, figure it is your choice to live where you live - so - to bad.

    Yes, the fact that geographic location is not part of the FA package adds to the unfairness quotient.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,545 Senior Member
    >> the system is ... um...silly. For example... I know for a fact that one can be full CalGrant (CA system) and 75% Pell Grant eligible via FAFSA data and at the same time be considered a full pay based on the CSS-PROFILE. FA, same as the whole college acceptance process is not fair, logical or even ethical. It is what it is...the best one can do is figure out how to game the system.<<


    I agree. The Calif system of only using custodial parent's info is ridiculous. There are too many low-income moms with high income ex-H's in that state.
  • kayfkayf Registered User Posts: 4,161 Senior Member
    Using non custodial parent information only makes sense if the state will require NCPs to chip in.
  • CTTCCTTC Registered User Posts: 2,130 Senior Member
    I think that colleges and universties should stop with free or reduced tuition to their own employees (other than appropriate need or merit aid). I think more college people would be sympathetic to middle class complaints if that were the case. Certianly the law should be changed so that none of that is tax-free.
    Yes!
    The Calif system of only using custodial parent's info is ridiculous. There are too many low-income moms with high income ex-H's in that state.
    NCPs should always be required to give their info AND to chip in.[/quote]
  • NotYourBusinessNotYourBusiness User Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 160 Junior Member
    ordinarylives,

    Your post that finaid comes from endowments is only correct if you are talking about super-rich schools. For the large majority of schools, operations cannot be sustained without tuition money.

    So schools such as Wesleyan even call finaid as revenue discounting.

    So do not say that this is Hogwash because in many, many situations the financial aid system is an elaborate price discrimination system.

    Check this link if you wish:
    http://2020.blogs.wesleyan.edu/2012/06/22/sustainable-affordability/

    From the link:
    "I am grateful for the various suggestions alumni and current students have submitted for how Wesleyan might offer a greater percentage of its revenue for scholarships. There is a fairly straightforward equation: the more we spend on providing access to the university, the less there is to spend on providing the education to which students want access. Yes, there are certain things we can do to increase revenue: we can charge (those who pay) more; we can spend more of our fundraised dollars (rather than putting the money in the endowment); we can increase spending from the endowment."

    So please do not say that finaid is money that schools have and that this has nothing to do with how they charge for tuition/COA.
  • SlitheyToveSlitheyTove Registered User Posts: 6,332 Senior Member
    All the while, Johnny over there is poor so he gets a free ride to the same school, regardless of whether he got a low GPA or even tried hard in school or not...

    There aren't many schools that will meet full need to the extent that a poor student has to pay nothing. Those schools are generally the most selective in the nation. No one gets into them with a low GPA. No one gets in who hasn't worked their tail off. If anyone is getting into tippy-top schools with relatively lower GPAs and relatively less effort expended, it'd be students from the wealthiest families, who can afford 7+ figure gifts on a regular basis.
  • ordinarylivesordinarylives Registered User Posts: 2,894 Senior Member
    Yes, the official term is the discount rate. And yes, most small privates are tuition driven. They cannot operate without tuition revenue, but I assure you that even at tiny schools, endowments have strings, limiting how and for whom the money can be used. College finances are far more complicated than the simplistic "we take in this much and spend this much, so this full fin aid recipient of offset by this full pay kid."

    I am always astounded by the vitriolic rhetoric thrown at these private schools that so many people seem desperate to get into. Obviously, people have choices. Why get upset because a business gives away it's own money under a set of parameters that it establishes for itself. Don't apply to these if their fin aid practices are so offensive.
  • kayfkayf Registered User Posts: 4,161 Senior Member
    Not certain if it is vitriolic, but I think some people are resentful of what is percieved as a tax imposed by colleges. Which they do not impose on their own middle class people.
  • SlitheyToveSlitheyTove Registered User Posts: 6,332 Senior Member
    An additional problem here is that there aren't nearly enough merit scholarships.

    Schools offer merit scholarships as a way to boost their brand, not as some sort of public service. USC, for instance, has repositioned itself in the last few decades from "school for rich lazy kids who couldn't get into UCLA" to a highly-regarded academic institution. How'd they do that? A number of factors, but offering automatic half-tuition scholarships to National Merit Finalists and a handful of (increasingly competitive) full-tuition scholarships has definitely had a huge impact.

    Merit scholarships are a way to flatter and capture high-achieving students, boosting yield. They're also a great way to capture students who'd balk at paying full price, especially at schools that don't guarantee to meet need. There are plenty of LACs and smaller private universities that offer $10k+/year off rack rate because then the students and their families feel all warm and fuzzy about going somewhere that wants them. :) And then the school gets a student who's paying, say, $40k a year, rather than having to pay out $30-40k or more a year for another, poorer student. I'm not knocking it--D2 is certainly a good candidate for those kinds of offers.
  • ordinarylivesordinarylives Registered User Posts: 2,894 Senior Member
    So, if that employee benefit makes you angry, don't give that school your business. Once again, though, it is a private business giving something to it's employees, just like some employers pay for family insurance coverage (or a high percentage of it) and some don't. You've moved past wanting to dictate how a school handles fin aid and into how an employer provides benefits to its employees.

    Now, I happen to agree, employment benefits shouldn't be called or considered a form of fin aid.
  • kayfkayf Registered User Posts: 4,161 Senior Member
    Ordinary, my point was that college professionals might be more sympathetic to others if they had the same issues. Many don't.
  • ordinarylivesordinarylives Registered User Posts: 2,894 Senior Member
    Oh no, I get it. I'm currently using that benefit. Ironically, it hasn't made me less jealous of people with employers who provide family health care. I keep thinking 1k/month for family coverage times 20+ years equals . . . Hey, wait a minute, I could have paid for that tuition OOP and had money to spare!
This discussion has been closed.