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Does my daughter qualify for financial aid

MommaT63MommaT63 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
OK - my daughter will begin college this fall and we have filled out all the necessary paperwork. She is extremely bright, top 3% of her class and all around a model student. I have been raising her and her older brother since 2008, on my own, with no financial help from my ex (location unknown). On paper I guess I look good. My AGI was just over 78K last year. Unfortunately, I'm just barely getting by. I'm the sole income in a 2 income household and carry all of the financial responsibility. Both my elderly parents have been living with me as well, and while they try to help out, they only receive nominal social security and a small pension monthly. Just the costs of their medication is astronomical. My daughter is receiving acceptance letters from colleges ranging anywhere from $58K-$72K per year. She is receiving the Dean's scholarship at many of these schools so that will be a big help. I'm still hoping that she will get some financial aid but from what I am seeing on the net price calculators, my income seems to be holding me back. I really want my daughter to realize her dream but without a little more help, I don't know how I am going to do this. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Replies to: Does my daughter qualify for financial aid

  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 72,252 Senior Member
    edited January 9
    Where did your kiddo apply to colleges? Any chance some of these meet full need for all accepted students?

    How strong is her GPA and SAT or ACT score.

    Did she ONLY apply to schools that are in the $60,000 plus range?

    Does she have some more affordable options on her application list?

    With a $78,000 income...I would guess that your family contribution per the FAFSA was in the $20,000 plus a year range. Can you afford to pay that amount? What was your FAFSA EFC?
  • twogirlstwogirls Registered User Posts: 6,609 Senior Member
    Did she apply to any schools that meet full financial need?
  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Super Moderator Posts: 35,904 Super Moderator
    You need to run the Net Price Calculator on each of your child's schools web site to see what the financial forecast is. That will be the most accurate forecast you'll get.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 72,252 Senior Member
    Hoping the net price calculators give you a spot for indicating your single parent status. Otherwise...view those results with caution.

    Hopefully you already completed the FAFSA....if so...what was your FAFSA EFC?

    Do any of your kid’s colleges require the Profile or a school form? Those should be done too!
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Registered User Posts: 28,390 Senior Member
    Yes, it is getting late in the game, but your daughter doesn't have to start college this fall. She can take a gap year while the two of you sort out a better list that your family can afford.

    Your first step is to determine how much you can contribute each year. Something? Nothing? If you are planning to pay something out of current income, start setting that aside now each month. That will give you a cushion, however small, when she does start college.

    Then you need to go through the list of places your daughter wants to apply to, run the NPCs, and eliminate the ones that aren't likely to be affordable.

    If she has excellent grades and test scores, and isn't picky about where she goes to college, there may be places that will offer a guaranteed scholarship for her stats. Read through the thread at the top of this forum on that subject.

    How affordable are your in-state public Us? If she studies for two years at your local community college and then transfers to one of the public Us, how low can you get her costs? Does that CC offer any scholarships itself? Happykid's did. We only paid for her books for two years there, and that meant that we had money left to pay for the two years after she transferred.
  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston Registered User Posts: 14,257 Senior Member
    Your state flagship?
  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls Registered User Posts: 4,548 Senior Member
    For most students in the US, the cost of attending university is a primary concern (and often the primary concern) in terms of picking which university to attend. With an income of $78k your kids are going to be in this group also.

    There can be a huge difference in price between different schools. My daughters saw "total cost of attendance" ranging from $65k per year (several years ago, the same school would be over $70k today) to a low a bit less than $15k per year. Merit based aid was a factor (we do not qualify for need based aid). We also saw pretty much no correlation at all between the cost of attendance and the academic strength of schools. Of course, results can and will differ for different students.

    You need to figure out what you can pay, and run the NPC on schools to figure out what each one is likely to cost. It seems that you might also need to check what each school does for students whose fathers are out of the picture. As others have mentioned, it is not unheard of for students to need to take a gap year in order to sort this out. Other folks on CC should be able to point out schools which are likely to be relatively affordable.

    In the long term your daughter will be better off if you and she can minimize the amount of debt that she will need to take on for university.
  • billcshobillcsho Registered User Posts: 18,405 Senior Member
    It seems you are going through the process in the opposite way. I would start with NPC and pick the schools that are affordable unless there is a high chance of merit scholarship before applying. Otherwise, it would be a waste of time, effort, and fees. In addition, you may feel flustrated to decline admissions to many schools due to the cost.
  • SybyllaSybylla Registered User Posts: 2,622 Senior Member
    Did older brother go to college? Does the income of the parents who also live with you count in your household numbers and finances as per the profile?
    How is this a question now BTW?
  • coolguy40coolguy40 Registered User Posts: 1,816 Senior Member
    In your financial situation, an expensive private school is likely not a good option, even if it's a dream school. What you need to tell her is no. She has the grades for a scholarship and you can't afford to send her to an expensive private school. There are several schools I can name off the top of my head that will at least cover full tuition. SMU, TCU, Baylor, Alabama, and Auburn to name a few. Also, if she works during summer and part time during the semester, that could cover at least half, if not most of her living expenses.
  • Wien2NCWien2NC Registered User Posts: 1,060 Senior Member
    what's her SAT/ACT score?
  • evergreen5evergreen5 Registered User Posts: 1,143 Senior Member
    edited January 10
    Quoting @coolguy40
    In your financial situation, an expensive private school is likely not a good option, even if it's a dream school.
    This is not categorically true. It depends. The schools that meet full need are virtually all "expensive private schools" and sometimes offer the best price. OP needs to run the Net Price Calculators. For questions about the accuracy of the NPC, OP may call the financial aid office.

    Coolguy, also note that Auburn and Alabama are public, while SMU and TCU are "expensive private schools." Alabama has a nice list of automatic scholarships, but without knowing more, like most publics, I wouldn't be so sure that Alabama offers good financial aid in the form of grants.
  • SybyllaSybylla Registered User Posts: 2,622 Senior Member
    she has the grades for a scholarship .<<<<<<<<

    Where do you see that?
  • coolguy40coolguy40 Registered User Posts: 1,816 Senior Member
    @evergreen5 You missed my point. A full tuition scholarship makes a school affordable, right? What I'm saying is heavily research scholarship opportunities before taking out a loan to pay for these schools.
  • suzy100suzy100 Registered User Posts: 5,393 Senior Member
    "There are several schools I can name off the top of my head that will at least cover full tuition. SMU, TCU, Baylor, Alabama, and Auburn to name a few. "

    Uh, what are you basing this on, @coolguy40? The OP has not posted her daughter's stats.
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