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does FA work in tandem with admissions?

homerdoghomerdog Registered User Posts: 4,226 Senior Member
Does anyone have any insight into how need-blind colleges work on financial aid packages in tandem with admissions? Do they put together packages for all candidates? Or do they wait until admissions tells them who they are admitting and then they put together packages?

I'm talking about colleges that give their FA packages at the same time as their acceptance decisions.

Replies to: does FA work in tandem with admissions?

  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 74,372 Senior Member
    From what I understand...need blind colleges financial aid departments do preliminary work for all who apply...but once admitted, admissions let’s the financial aid department know so that the full financial aid award can be completed and sent either with or shortly after accepance letters are sent.
  • homerdoghomerdog Registered User Posts: 4,226 Senior Member
    @thumper1 I ask for a few reasons but one is that I see so many posters being asked for FA forms/updates into March and they always want to know if it means anything. It always seems odd to me that a FA office is updating info if they are't accepting the student. I guess the preliminary work is gathering everything and they put the package together only after they know who is admitted. It makes me wonder how many weeks FA is given to get these ready so they can get the to the admits on decision day.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 20,579 Senior Member
    I know that at my daughter's school, the admissions office let the FA office know who was admitted and which merit award the student was getting. It was rolling admissions so some were admitted before the FA awards which were first given out in Feb and then with admissions decisions as they were rolled out. When I felt my D's merit award was incorrect, I contacted FA but was sent back to admissions. When admissions corrected it, they sent it back to FA, who then sent out the correction to us.

    The FA and admissions offices were physically across the hall from each other yet I don't think they interacted very often.
  • homerdoghomerdog Registered User Posts: 4,226 Senior Member
    So, does anyone think that decisions are final maybe a week or two weeks before the decision date? Maybe that's why schools with 4/1 deadlines sometimes send out messages saying that their decisions will be released on some earlier date because they know they are done with decisions and FA only needs so much time to get the packages together.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 20,579 Senior Member
    I'm sure decisions are made before the release day. There have been several cases where the schools accidentally sent acceptance/rejection letters when they were loading the computers to send out the decisions.
  • LoveTheBardLoveTheBard Registered User Posts: 2,051 Senior Member
    I wouldn't try to read too much into any communication either way.

    My guess is that Admissions probably sends out the same emails to everyone regardless of whether they or not they requested FA and regardless of whether a given student is admitted, waitlisted, or rejected. FA probably calculates need for anybody that has applied for it.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 74,498 Senior Member
    I would expect the FA departments to work in parallel to the admissions department, rather than waiting until the admissions department is done.

    Most FA work can be done beforehand; only in cases where the admissions department adds a merit scholarship or designates an admitted applicant for preferential FA packaging does the FA department have to do post-admission work on the FA award.

    Note that it is likely that most FA applications can be done with mostly automated processing, with human review of those few cases that are flagged as having more unusual features.
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 41,067 Super Moderator
    does anyone think that decisions are final maybe a week or two weeks before the decision date?
    They are definitely final before the decision date, since they need time to update the portals, print the hard copies of acceptances for mailing, etc. How much earlier is a question mark. Personally, I file it under it is what it is.

    As @thumper1 and @ucbalumnus correctly state, FA and Admissions run on parallel tracks. The FA office is notjust processing accepted students' paperwork. So students should read nothing into requests from the FA office for missing info.
  • homerdoghomerdog Registered User Posts: 4,226 Senior Member
    @ucbalumnus you hit the nail on the head. I didn’t know that packages could mostly be automatically generated. If that’s the case, then I can see how FA could produce packages for all candidates even if only a small percentage are accepted. I was trying to understand why the dept would be charged with figuring out FA for everyone and thought it required more hands on work. If it’s just a matter of gathering info and letting some program spit out a package then that makes more sense.
  • sybbie719sybbie719 Super Moderator Posts: 22,456 Super Moderator
    Since most of the work is automated, it is not financial aid “working” to process all of these applications. At most selective schools admissions financial aid departments are in separate buildings. Other than schools that have need aware processes for US citizens, which happen at the end of the admission cycles or schools that are need aware for international students there is very little if any communication regarding need based processes, because most of it is automated.

    Also financial aid department go through internal and external audits where financial aid applications are randomly auditor- this could bev an accepted or not accepted student.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 74,372 Senior Member

    It is the financial aid department’s job to make sure that all financial aid submissions are complete. All. So, if one receives a communication from the financial aid department...view it as a communication from the financial aid department. Don’t view it as an admissions communication.

  • twogirlstwogirls Registered User Posts: 6,747 Senior Member
    edited March 10
    My daughter applied to 5 schools that meet full need. All 5 schools informed us that certain things were missing etc. She was accepted to 4 and waitlisted to 1..... that one school was still communicating with us very late into the process.
  • homerdoghomerdog Registered User Posts: 4,226 Senior Member
    @thumper1 We are full pay and schools know so we don’t get any communication from FA at all. I was just curious because I see posts all of the time about this and was curious how FA works along side admissions. Sooooo many posters get exciting hearing from FA so late into March.
  • Britmom5Britmom5 Registered User Posts: 319 Member
    @homerdog My son was not accepted to Northeastern yesterday. We had had repeated requests for additional financial info from them - very specific items, from January onwards, and additional forms to fill in - so that i submitted and scanned close to 50 extra pieces of paper. They were still emailing about additional info on monday. He was rejected Weds. I’m assuming that admissions and FA were not communicating, unless they were having fun at my expense!! Lol
  • homerdoghomerdog Registered User Posts: 4,226 Senior Member
    @Britmom5 I’m so sorry. That’s awful. I would hate to work in FA. Sounds like they do a whole bunch of busy work that doesn’t even need to get done. And I’m sorry for the denial too. :(
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