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Does the endowment size directly correlate with generosity of financial assistance?

ArtsyKidDadArtsyKidDad 31 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 35 Junior Member
I tried my best to find the answer on CC before I posted, apologies if I missed something.
To expand on my question, do you know of any outliers, one way or the other, i.e. rich schools that don't give much student help, or the opposite, not-so-rich schools spending generously on lowering the cost of attendance? In particular, I mean help for families in the infamous donut hole, too rich for most of the FA, too poor to afford $75k/year, let's say making just above $100k with one kid?
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Replies to: Does the endowment size directly correlate with generosity of financial assistance?

  • Erin's DadErin's Dad 32908 replies3639 discussionsSuper Moderator Posts: 36,547 Super Moderator
    IMO they tend to be correlated. Any school being generous with FA would not be able to continue unless they had a good endowment. Generous FA also usually means more competitive admissions.
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  • thumper1thumper1 73280 replies3188 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 76,468 Senior Member
    Plus you need to check how colleges allocate their money. Some give merit aid. Some need based. And some both.

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  • ArtsyKidDadArtsyKidDad 31 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 35 Junior Member
    edited July 8
    Thanks for your responses.
    I meant it as an invitation to sharing insights about specific schools, based on individual experience. I know my very low post count suggests a complete newbie but I've been lurking for a while so I know the general outlines.
    I was hoping to make it into a handy list along the lines: "despite what the endowment size would suggest, college X tends to give great/crappy FA."
    edited July 8
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  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 12452 replies231 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 12,683 Senior Member
    If you are looking for specific anecdotes, Earlham gives great FA despite a lower endowment. It's a priority.
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  • ArtsyKidDadArtsyKidDad 31 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 35 Junior Member
    edited July 8
    @OHMomof2 That's exactly what I've been hoping for, thank you.
    And you have the greatest profile pix too!
    edited July 8
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 6146 replies35 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 6,181 Senior Member
    There is a pinned thread in the parent forum of schools that give generous merit aid:
    https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/parents-forum/52133-schools-known-for-good-merit-aid.html#latest

    For need based financial aid, your best best is to run the NPC for schools you are considering as that will vary greatly.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 76466 replies665 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 77,131 Senior Member
    OHMomof2 wrote:
    If you are looking for specific anecdotes, Earlham gives great FA despite a lower endowment. It's a priority.

    Earlham's NPC suggests that the minimum net price for a student from a low income family with maximum academic stats (but not from Indiana) is around $13k per year, which would mean needing to take the $5.5k direct loan and earn $7.5k from student work earnings, which is on the high side of student contribution expectations compared to "good financial aid" colleges.
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  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 12452 replies231 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 12,683 Senior Member
    edited July 9
    Yes @ucbalumnus but the npc doesn't tell the whole story there, you'll just have to trust that I know firsthand people who got better offers than that, and you won't find them on their web site npc. But you will find this:
    Take time to use our Net Price Calculator to get a sense of how much aid you could be awarded, but understand that the final award is thoughtfully considered for each student individually.

    and this:
    Income: $0 - $50,000
    Aid range: $38,000 - $59,300
    COA: $58,265

    Like similar colleges, they give better aid to students they want more. And they do it based on FAFSA alone, which as you know means it may be an especially good option for lower income kids with uncooperative NCPs.
    which is on the high side of student contribution expectations compared to "good financial aid" colleges.

    The question was not about "good financial aid" colleges. It was about lower endowment colleges that give good aid given their lower endowment. Earlham has a per-student endowment of 350k and "good financial aid" schools like Amherst have over a million per student. The fact that Earlham is in the ballpark or as you say "on the high side" means it likely meets the criteria asked for in the OP.

    Feel free to add some schools with lower endowments that do better.
    edited July 9
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 76466 replies665 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 77,131 Senior Member
    OHMomof2 wrote:
    but the npc doesn't tell the whole story there, you'll just have to trust that I know firsthand people who got better offers than that, and you won't find them on their web site npc.

    Like similar colleges, they give better aid to students they want more.

    In other words, competitive merit scholarships that are not necessarily labeled as such (sometimes called "preferential packaging").
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  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 12452 replies231 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 12,683 Senior Member
    ^ Maybe. Or maybe they look at individual financial circumstances to come up with better packages, which is what they say they do on the web site. You see the possible range of FA for the lowest income group is greater than COA (tuition/rb/fees) to include possible help with travel or books.

    Not sure what the point of this tangent was.
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  • ArtsyKidDadArtsyKidDad 31 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 35 Junior Member
    Is there any chance we could return to the posted topic, please?
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  • TheodenTheoden 128 replies5 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 133 Junior Member
    High endowment per student helps - but it's not an exact correlation. Some schools choose to spend it on facilities rather than financial aid.

    Two outliers, by personal experience, Knox College and Allegheny College. Very generous aid (Merit aid and need based), with rather modest endowments.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 76466 replies665 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 77,131 Senior Member
    Some colleges in financial trouble discount heavily (more merit or need based aid) just to fill their classes (even a heavily discounted student brings more revenue than an empty seat).
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  • circuitridercircuitrider 3193 replies157 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,350 Senior Member
    edited July 11
    Here is a list of 30 of the most generous private colleges and universities in the country. Every year, they collectively transfer more inter-generational wealth than some countries. Their endowments per student vary from $2.8 million per student at Princeton to Wesleyan at 1/10th that amount:
    http://web.mit.edu/cofhe/
    edited July 11
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  • brantlybrantly 3726 replies66 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,792 Senior Member
    @ArtsyKidDad This is a very inefficient way to help predict financial aid. As @ucbalumnus said above, colleges in financial trouble offer big discounts. Drew University is a recent example.
    The best way is to run the relevant NPC for each college.
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