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4 keys for negotiating a better college aid offer


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

  • chrome_gamechrome_game Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    What should you do if a schools NPC gives you much lower price than the actual aid. For one of the top schools, when we run NPC, our cost comes $6000 lower than the actual aid offered by the School. I sat down with them, they punched in exact numbers as I did in their NPC tool. FAO said there is no answer that she has or there is nothing that she could do for this difference since she entered information exactly the same as we entered in calculator. Any suggestion as to what we can do?
  • sybbie719sybbie719 Super Moderator Posts: 20,884 Super Moderator
    edited April 20
    The NPC is just an estimate not a guarantee as to how must you will have to pay

    Do you think that there is something in your financials that they did not take ito consideration
  • chrome_gamechrome_game Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    They actually punched in exact numbers as I did in NPC. FAO was also surprised why there is so much difference but had no suggestion as to what can be done.
  • VornadoVornado Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    The financial aid calculators are notoriously inaccurate. Going back and asking questions in an inquiry-based mode or providing "change of circumstances" or "information that may not have been clearly explained" helps. Our aid package 4 years ago at a liberal arts college on the opposite coast was substantially more, our student knew the better place was the closer to home liberal arts college. In the end we paid more initially, but then they met our need. The sad thing is that very few can meet the full financial need of students unless they are the big ivy's. I would defintely ask for a re-calibration of the aid if the caluculator was off a ton with a clear written letter bulleting the reasons as to why you need the aid. In our family public educaiton was not adequate for our special needs student, we paid private school and remediation fees and testing that ate up our income. I wrote explaining this also documenting from the ed psych recommending and verfiying this and including a link on our state's inabilty to properly fund education.
  • gratefulmamagratefulmama Registered User Posts: 199 Junior Member
    If you appeal a FA award from a private and they come back and offer more, what can you do to protect yourself over the next three years? My D recently got in off the waitlist at a private that costs twice as much as the public she committed to by the deadline. Since she was from the waitlist, she is not considered for merit, which would be guaranteed over 4 years. She loves the school, and they seem to be working to help us with a better FA package, but I'm concerned we could be on the hook for a much higher tuition the following years.
  • sybbie719sybbie719 Super Moderator Posts: 20,884 Super Moderator
    edited May 9
    Congrats to your daughter for getting off of the waitlist!!

    This is a question that you need to ask the the school. Is it a school that meets 100% demonstrated need?

    Yes, the costs are going to increase. Your D's student contribution will increase over the next couple of years because there is an expectation that she will be able to make more $$ over the summers. In addition that amount of $$ that she will be able to borrow from the federal govt will go up over the next 3 years.

    Was your appeal based on a one time event or a situation that will affect your Family's income going forward?

    Do you think that your financial are pretty consistent over the next few years? if yes then your package should be pretty consistent.

    Remember freshman year is tax year 2015, sophomore year will be 2016 (the taxes you just filed) and junior year will be 2017.

    Are there factors that may change your packaging over the next 4 years; a sibling attending or graduating from college, retirement, etc?
  • gratefulmamagratefulmama Registered User Posts: 199 Junior Member
    @sybbie719 - Thanks for your reply. Yes, they meet 100%. We are waiting for an appeal though because our income for 2015 & 2016 is much higher than it will be this year. We are self employed and had a big contract those years that ended in 2016; so our income this year is already significantly lower. We are waiting to hear back from them but if it's a decent offer, we still need to make sure the following years are within range, and not suddenly 70k/yr. We have a younger D, who will be attending college in three years.
  • sybbie719sybbie719 Super Moderator Posts: 20,884 Super Moderator
    so basically if the school can hold it down this year (2015 income), sophomore year (2016) income, you should be be ok junior year (unfortunately because 2017 income is projected to be much lower ) and is senior year because you will have 2 in college.

    I hope that it all works out
  • momtochinadollmomtochinadoll Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    Is the financial aid paper work filed out before the senior year starts?
  • sybbie719sybbie719 Super Moderator Posts: 20,884 Super Moderator
    No, the FAFSA is not available until October 1
  • ambkeeganambkeegan Registered User Posts: 25 New Member
    My son received $ scholarship after running into an admissions director on my way to the bathroom at the open house. I chat it up with anyone, btw. I was able to submit more awards my son received since his application and offer. I did not know however, I could call to negotiate his package. It was a state university also.
  • ambkeeganambkeegan Registered User Posts: 25 New Member
    Would it make sense to apply to a university in which you can possibly get a full ride to try to negotiate with a more
    selective school? For example, a large scholarship to a state school to negotiate a package for a more selective school?
    College apps are expensive running $70 a pop so it adds up. We have had the fee waived for one and am hoping after attending a college fair to have more applications fees waved.
    For aid, the colleges look at 2016 for aid? Do they look at your current income? We base most of our income of commissions which do not always come in or pay less than contracted. My job may be eliminated but I have no idea if or when that may happen. My income is good currently under $100k.
    Will they take into consideration how close you are to retirement and if you had to use a large part of your retirement fund due to lay offs and starting a business?
  • sybbie719sybbie719 Super Moderator Posts: 20,884 Super Moderator
    With the notable exception of UNC-CH, UVA and Michigan which offer need based institutional aid., most public universities do not have the institutional aid to give.

    Most students receiving aid at public state schools are getting aid in the form of state and federal aid which is a straight forward process- you are eligible for a X amount of aid based on the family having an income of Y. There is rarely room to negotiate a package that is not merit based.
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