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Financial Aid at Cal Poly SLO v. UC Davis (professional judgment)

ashproxashprox Registered User Posts: 22 Junior Member
I'm an older student working on my first bachelors. I went to a tech college when I was younger, and I currently make decent money (though here in the Bay area its barely enough to survive). I accepted at Cal Poly before realizing that UC Davis had offered me $19,000 in grants when Cal Poly only offered me, originally, $5700. I got my grants up to over $6k at Cal Poly and hope to get more once I do "professional judgment" where I basically report that I quit my decent-paying job in order to move to SLO and attend school, but I don't even know if I will get it high enough to cover tuition. Davis is offering enough grants to cover tuition AND some.... and I really can't understand why.

I'm scared I'm making a huge mistake accepting Cal Poly, but my husband does not want to live in Sacramento area, and I cannot afford to take out more student loans. Has anyone ever dealt with professional judgment before? The financial aid advisor I was working with was not very nice and I'm afraid to ask her more questions, fearing she's going to get annoyed with me and help me even less :( Cal Poly was always my top choice, I just can't understand the huge disparity in grants offered.

Replies to: Financial Aid at Cal Poly SLO v. UC Davis (professional judgment)

  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 84,468 Forum Champion
    One reason for the disparity is the large difference in tuition. Another is the UCs have a lot more money than the CSUs. And the UCs have the blue and gold promise

  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 73,221 Senior Member
    edited May 2018

    Your net cost to attend Cal Poly SLO? About $21,000.

    Your net cost to attend Davis? About $6250.

    Also, you mention you are married. Your spouse’s income is considered as well. Is he or she quitting their job too?
  • ashproxashprox Registered User Posts: 22 Junior Member
    @thumper1 if he had a job he would be quitting because we are moving 3 hours south of where we currently live. But he quit about 6 months ago to focus on finishing his bachelors at SJSU.

    I will be working very minimally 5-10 hours a week providing CART services to deaf and hard of hearing student and he will likely find a job but combined we will not make as much as is currently reported, which is what they’re basing my financial aid off of. They’re basing my financial aid off of an unmarried individual making $32k and awarded me $5742. (I just married in April) Adding my husband who made $11k in 2016 brought combined income up to $43,000 and FA to $6300ish. We will likely have a combined income of around $35k once we move, if my husband gets the job he applied to.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 19,966 Senior Member
    I think you should ask Cal Poly how much the professional judgment will change things. It may only be the Pell grant adjustment or it may be nothing at all. Since you are quitting your job, even though the reason is to attend school, that may influence the decision.

    I don't think you should count on it.
  • aunt beaaunt bea Registered User Posts: 9,530 Senior Member
    I'm curious as to why this wasn't discussed as an option before you married?

    I think Davis is a very good school and is not in Sacramento. It has decent rents and a good quality of life. Plus the access to jobs in the bay area is good.
    Cal Poly has high rents as well.
    Will his job cover both of your living expenses?
  • ashproxashprox Registered User Posts: 22 Junior Member
    @aunt bea I honestly thought getting married would help because I didn’t know of professional judgment before getting married. Plus I am older and want to start trying to have children (yes even though I’m in school) and didn’t want to do that out of wedlock. I figured his low-to-zero income for 2016 and 2017 would help, which it did, a little, but not enough to cover all of tuition.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 73,221 Senior Member
    The change in your “family income” from $32k to $43k to $35K is really not a huge difference. It might net you a small amount more in Pell Grant money. Not sure what else you would get.

    As a married student, you are independent for financial aid purposes per FAFSA...so you can take an addition $4000 in Direct Loans per year. So...if you are a freshman, then instead of $5500, you would be eligible for $9500.

    I would NOT advocate taking out this amount in loans every year. And it sounds like you don’t want more loans.

    Are you looking at four more years of college...or less?

  • ashproxashprox Registered User Posts: 22 Junior Member
    @thumper1 I'll be a junior, and I only need my bachelor's, so 2 years. I paid my way through community college to save $. I'll have to do an internship, but I'm not worried about that because it's not like I have to pay for an internship -- I'll just have to take some work around it, which I'm more than accustomed to doing. I've averaged 30+ work hours on top of school full time the last 2.5 years.
  • aggie92aggie92 Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    edited May 2018
    If it's only two years, then your husband should be able to live near Davis (or in Davis) for the difference of COA. Plus there are many state agencies in Sacramento you and/or your husband can get a student assistant job (unless you get a job on campus). Davis is a great place to live (although the rent is high) and UCD is a great college and you'll have more opportunities for jobs during school year.
  • Not2cool4schoolNot2cool4school Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    I don't know about SLO, but I know UC Davis has discounted apartments for married students. Once you have a child, they also offer subsidized childcare. They also have programs for older students (O.W.L.).
This discussion has been closed.