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Discovering Affordability

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Replies to: Discovering Affordability

  • OhiBroOhiBro 308 replies6 threadsRegistered User Member
    GREAT advice from @PurpleTitan in #18.

    Kids across the spectrum, particularly high stats kids, are more than capable of figuring out the pecking order for merit aid. Put the responsibility on her to let her grow, knowing that she could flourish at a cheap non-selective school just as easily as anywhere else.

    Having a dream school to begin with is a mistake, IMO.

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  • mamaedefamiliamamaedefamilia 3449 replies23 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @LookAtMyShoes

    If, Columbia is the unaffordable dream, what about Fordham? In place of Harvard, what about BU or Northeastern? These are great schools, competitive to get in, and offer merit money. We know somebody who got a full tuition award with all sorts of perks from BU and Fordham treats National Merit Finalists very well. Last time I checked, Northeastern's maximum merit award was about 30K.
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  • BingeWatcherBingeWatcher 910 replies7 threadsRegistered User Member
    @LookAtMyShoes any chance she is National Merit. She could get full tuition at Fordham if she is with those stats.
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  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids 84100 replies1025 threadsForum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Forum Champion
    Gotta love that "You qualify for $24,000 in financial aid and only will be responsible for $51,000 per year!" Thanks generic top school for your generosity!

    Lol, very true.

    As COAs continue to rise, it can make a “generous award” of $24k (almost $100k for four years) seem paltry. Yet, people are often impressed to receive that much.
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  • lvvcsflvvcsf 2325 replies58 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Her current goal is to become an attorney and practice law in New York City. The goal is not Columbia, that is a fantasy. It's up to her, not where she attends, to determine whether or not she gets to her goal. Wiping out the family saving to go to a specific undergrad school is not the way to reach her goal. Tell her what you will contribute and allow her to apply anywhere she wishes. Make sure she understands that two things need to occur for her to attend a school, she has to be accepted and it has to be affordable. If a school doesn't fit both of those parameters then she can't attend. End of discussion. She will have to go elsewhere.
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  • bgbg4usbgbg4us 1305 replies42 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    one more thing to consider when it comes to maximizing AP credits: I think you'd get the best bang for your buck with those credits at schools that charge by the credit hour; rather than a flat fee per semester.

    Say you come in with 20 credits that can be used for your major. At a flat fee per semester school, those credits open up space to take other classes and possibly allow a kid to graduate early, but you still pay the same per semester. At a $/credit hr school, you can also potentially graduate early, but those classes mean you might pay less per semester if you are taking less classes.
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  • lvvcsflvvcsf 2325 replies58 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    "Her current goal is to become an attorney and practice law in New York City. The goal is not Columbia, that is a fantasy."

    Just to clarify. I didn't mean it is fantasy that she would get into Columbia. That is a challenge as Columbia is very selective. I mean something like the goal is to drive across the US, the fantasy is doing it in a Ferrari. How you look and feel in the Ferrari is what you envision or fantasize about but the fantasy is not your goal. I think that often the fantasy can interfere with your focus on your goal. There are many ways she could go to law school and eventually practice law in NYC. Going to Columbia may be one of them but not the best or most practical for her or your family.
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  • cshell2cshell2 557 replies7 threadsRegistered User Member
    AP credit wouldn't do my son any good except lighten his load...which I guess has value. All the schools around here are flat fee per semester and he's going into engineering so no doubling up on major courses due to pre-req requirements.
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  • VeryapparentVeryapparent 881 replies16 threadsRegistered User Member
    There are some pretty selective schools that will likely offer your daughter some really nice merit. We have a high stats daughter (now in college) and we are also full pay. We also have a younger child with some challenges who will need support as an adult so hanging on to as much cash as possible for our family was really important. We spent hours and hours of time researching schools that offer significant merit to high stats students. Do the research....our daughter got a full tuition ride and a few other outside scholarships. She had some other merit offers that were quite good and would have cost less than our highly regarded state flagship. They are out there. There wasn't a dream school..but the outcome was pretty sweet.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22990 replies17 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I didn't know that college cost so much. I just assumed it was as affordable as when I went.

    It can be. You already know that she has affordable offers in Alabama (really free). If NMF she'd also be free in Florida and UT-Dallas.

    People always talk about the good old days when college was affordable by working your way through. Well, that was true at state colleges but people weren't working their way through Harvard and Dartmouth and Duke. They either got scholarships or a parent paid, just as it is now. My sister was at Middlebury and it was $5000/yr when our family income (with 5 more kids at home) was $25000. Yup, they expected 20% of our family income. She stayed one year and transferred to the state school where she could work her way through.
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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 8935 replies334 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 20
    That being said, I forwarded my findings to my daughter the other day and told her that this is her situation. It's up to her to make Columbia, Penn, Brown, Cornell, etc affordable for her family. The implication being that she can study hard, get that law degree, make more money than me and raise the status of the family so they don't have those limitations.

    Make sure you spell out to her clearly how much you'll pay. And if Columbia won't be affordable don't let her apply there. Implying something to a teenager doesn't mean they'll understand the message you intended to send.
    edited June 20
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 5520 replies1 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    "She wants to eventually practice law"

    At the risk of stating the obvious, four years of undergrad is not going to be the end of it.

    I think that you need to set a budget and stick to it.

    "I didn't know that college cost so much. I just assumed it was as affordable as when I went"

    "Affordable" is relative. However, for us $70k per year was not affordable. Most importantly we found very good schools that were affordable for us and that were a very good fit for both daughters. This did require saying "NO" to a couple of schools. In retrospect the schools that we (the parents) said "NO" to would have been a significantly worse fit than the schools that my daughters actually ended up attending. Perhaps we were lucky in that regard.
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