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4 keys for negotiating a better college aid offer

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Replies to: 4 keys for negotiating a better college aid offer

  • MassDaD68MassDaD68 Registered User Posts: 1,436 Senior Member
    I am one that is inside the doughnut hole. For us all we can do is hope to have some aid raised up. A huge long shot. Most FIN AID offices will not change it unless something has changed. If the numbers do not work, then you must move onto a safety school.

    An appeal is always worth the effort to submit a letter. A long shot but you have to ask.
  • m139plm139pl Registered User Posts: 37 Junior Member
    exlibris97 wrote:
    Princeton has the most generous financial aid program in the USA. As others have written, they offer aid to families making up to $180k a year - albeit that doesn't necessarily mean a full ride. And they do not consider home equity when calculating aid.
    Goes higher than that, even at $180k/year get close to half price.
  • DolemiteDolemite Registered User Posts: 1,610 Senior Member
    @exlibris97 Why wouldn't I try to get the best offers possible from all the schools that my D is considering?

    @m139pl I'll disagree with your ranges quite a bit. I think finding merit in the top 20 is pretty difficult but not impossible for a Princeton level student. Finding it in the top 70 is definitely possible. Mainly of the Full Tuition variety. Finding full rides as a non-athlete is lot more work. My D is an URM and that helps but even ORMs can find merit if they have the CV to get into Princeton and it's peers.
  • m139plm139pl Registered User Posts: 37 Junior Member
    Our experience is that the merit awarded at well ranked engineering schools in the Northeast region (where my son wants to be) did not match the financial aid offered by Princeton. Maybe outside of engineering there are more full tuition scholarships available.
  • DolemiteDolemite Registered User Posts: 1,610 Senior Member
    @m139pl Limiting yourself to the northeast will do that. As far as engineering going Ivy league probably isn't the best cost efficient option anyway.
  • exlibris97exlibris97 Registered User Posts: 775 Member
    @Dolemite I guess it just seems a bit bizarre to me. You apparently have received a great offer from Princeton. I frankly think you should be grateful for that. However, do try but I can almost guarantee you that Columbia will not match Princeton.
  • DolemiteDolemite Registered User Posts: 1,610 Senior Member
    @exlibris97 I'm not sure why it's bizarre. My D may prefer Columbia or other schools over Princeton. She applied to multiple schools so she'd have a choice once she has as much information as possible including overnight visits.
  • sybbie719sybbie719 Super Moderator Posts: 20,884 Super Moderator
    edited April 4
    I would recommend waiting to see I she has a clear first choice.

    I think that Princeton and Columbia are very different from one another so I can understand why she would want a second look.

    At our house we waited until it came down to the final two schools,D rated her top choice, then and the requested a review based on the package from her second choice.

    I told the school that her first choice, it is her first choice, she wants to attend, but the second choice was a more financially feasible option for our family (D would have gone to second choice if we could not get the $$ to work out)
    Post edited by sybbie719 on
  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 Registered User Posts: 10,343 Senior Member
    I think most schools want to know they are the first choice when doing the work to try to match a peer school's offer.

    That said, Cornell explicitly says it will match: http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/2010/12/cornell-matches-financial-aid-offered-peer-schools

    IDK about Penn and Columbia.
  • DolemiteDolemite Registered User Posts: 1,610 Senior Member
    Well Columbia got back to my D and matched Princeton's offer. The total EFC is the same which means Columbia is actually giving her a lot more in grants. I know she prefers the city but well see what she thinks once she has the overnights.
  • sybbie719sybbie719 Super Moderator Posts: 20,884 Super Moderator
    Did Columbia commit to their revised package being consistent over your D's 4 years there provided that your income remains pretty consistent over the next 4 years?
  • DolemiteDolemite Registered User Posts: 1,610 Senior Member
    I wonder how that works? This line is included:
    If your family's circumstances (income, assets, and allowable expenses) remain the same, your financial aid eligibility should remain relatively consistent in future years.
  • sybbie719sybbie719 Super Moderator Posts: 20,884 Super Moderator
    That line also holds true for your original FA package that you got for Columbia.

    Seeking clarification:

    Suppose Columbia found your EFC to be $10k. Princeton found your EFC to be 5K. You requested a financial review and in year one: Columbia met Princeton's offer and adjusted your EFC to 5k.

    You must apply for FA each year, sophomore, junior and senior year.

    My question is sophomore year, will your EFC be $10.5 k based on Columbia's formula for calculating your nee (you got a 4% raise, which may raise your EFC ever so slightly).

    Will your base EFC be 5.5k in sophomore year?
  • DolemiteDolemite Registered User Posts: 1,610 Senior Member
    I've always had that same question when I've read of people getting FA matches. You would think it would have to carry over for 4 years. Do they calculate some kind of adjustment metric and apply to your Student Record so that future years are adjusted automatically.
  • exlibris97exlibris97 Registered User Posts: 775 Member
    edited April 6
    @Dolemite Financial need is re-assessed every year and you must re-apply every year, so your award could change. Your summer work expectation and work-study most definitely WILL increase year to year.

    For Ivy League universities, you are required to maintain 'satisfactory academic progress' but not a specific GPA.
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