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Help! (Merit Aid)


Replies to: Help! (Merit Aid)

  • midofnowheremidofnowhere 27 replies1 threads Junior Member
    @mommdc I mean, I have no idea. I never even considered geographic diversity to be of importance!

    Thanks for the insight.

    @thumper1 I've already begun my applications! I have been nominated for the Jefferson Scholarship; I am the only student in the history of my school to have been nominated.

    I am willing to work for it! Also, thank you! I tend to forget how fortunate I am.
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  • midofnowheremidofnowhere 27 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Also - I ran some NetTuition calculations and I can receive aid! Of course, I used very rough estimates based on what my parents told me.

    Just some numbers to give context - My CoA at Duke would be 50k and around 30k at UChicago. So still significantly out of my range, unfortunately.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30026 replies59 threads Senior Member
    edited September 2019
    Geographic diversity is just a tip factor. i know certain schools that do get so many applicants from certain areas that even though it’s not from their own state, they get a second look , as someone from a less represented area would. I’m sure Pitt gets more Marylanders than Californians but I doubt that’s going to be much of a factor.

    By getting your app in early, you’ve done the best you can towards getting a scholarship from Pitt. My guess is that you will. The question is how much. There aren’t that many full rides or full tuition awards there anymore. There was a time Id have said it was a certainty for you and others with stats not even as stellar. It’s getting increasingly difficult to get these big ticket awards.

    Amherst indeed does NOT offer merit money. Though they do guarantee to meet full need and are generous, I doubt you will get what you need, given how the NPCs you have run have shown. I’d give the Amherst’s NPC a whirl. You might want to remove that school from your list as it is likely unaffordable. Wash&Lee and Davidson are two excellent LACs that have full ride awards.

    Tulane has quite a few scholarships and would be a fine addition to your list. Look up the Rice Initiative for which you might qualify for sufficient financial aid. They offer merit money too but very competitive.

    edited September 2019
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  • RiversiderRiversider 934 replies111 threads Senior Member
    My counselors are of no help and I can't find much info. on accepted merit scholars so I was hoping to see if I should apply or if I'm applying to too much, etc. - any advice is appreciated!

    Demographics: Male, Asian (immigrant parents), Rural, Upper Class (parents can afford 15-20k a year max)
    Intended Major(s): Public Health, Political Science
    ACT/SAT/SAT II: 1570, 710 - Math II, 720 - Bio M
    UW/W GPA and Rank: 4.0 UW/4.54W 1/169
    Coursework: Most rigorous in my school, independent studying H Spanish IV this year
    Senior Year: AP Chemistry, AP English Literature, AP Calculus AB, AP Physics I, Honors Spanish IV + Required Classes
    Junior Year: AP Bio (4), APUSH (4), AP Psych (5), AP Lang (5), AP Comp Sci Principles (didn't take exam), Honors Trig/PreCalc
    Sophomore Year: AP World (3), AP Environmental (3), Honors Algebra II, Honors Spanish III, Honors English, Honors Chem + Required Classes
    Freshman Year: Honors English, Honors Spanish II, AP Government and Politics (4), Honors Geometry, Honors Biology + Required Classes
    UChicago Summer Session (full scholarship)
    Biomed Camp at my state’s Flagship
    Mock Trial State Champion
    Mock Trial Circuit Champion
    AP Honors Scholar with Distinction
    Extracurriculars: I can't disclose my first EC due to the sensitivity, but I serve on a local branch of government,
    Regional Student Government VP (19/20), PR (18/19),
    Varsity Mock Trial Captain (12, 11),
    Student Council VP (12, 11, 10),
    State Student Government Representative,
    Peer Mentor (pilot member - 12, 11),
    NHS Treasurer (12, member since 11),
    NAACP Club (pilot member - 12, 11),
    Model UN (12, 11, 10),
    Volunteer Work (Hospitals, Nursing Homes, Various small projects - over 400 hours)
    Essays/LORs/Other: My personal statement is about advocating on Capitol Hill and how I grew as a result (7/10), assume LoRs to be average for the purpose of this chance me (AP Lang teacher, AP Bio teacher, Mock Trial coach, UChicago TA)
    I plan on applying to UNC-CH (Robertson Scholarship), Duke (Robertson Scholarship), UMD, UVA (Jefferson Scholarship), Pitt, Vanderbilt (Cornelius Vanderbilt & Chancellor's Scholars), WashU (all three merit scholarships), Emory, UChicago, Amherst, and USC. I'd appreciate it if I could get some more recommendations although any insight is appreciated!

    Thank you for reading! :)

    No point in wasting time on Amherst. You are high EFC with little money, you’ll not get aid or merit to make it affordable. I doubt U Chicago would work either. Instead of these add Rice and Grinnell.
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  • midofnowheremidofnowhere 27 replies1 threads Junior Member
    @cptofthehouse Ah, that makes sense.

    And I just ran Amherst’s NPC - CoA is 40k :( . So I will be taking it off my list.

    I’ve actually been interested in Tulane and Rice for a while - Rice moreso. I want to go to a diverse school, growing up as the only brown kid has taken its toll!

    @Riversider I will be taking Amherst out, but I’m keeping UChicago (it’s my number 1 school). I’ll look more into Rice and Grinnell. Thanks!
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  • mommdcmommdc 11862 replies31 threads Senior Member
    I still think you have a good chance for merit based on your stats, just trying to temper expectations for very competitive merit, as some schools want a certain class composition with diversity of many kinds.

    So it's important that you have some automatic merit schools and some possible merit schools on your list, before applying to long shot merit schools.
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  • HippobirdyHippobirdy 652 replies1 threads Member
    I want to go to a diverse school...
    UMD, UMBC tick that box.
    You can see collegeexpress dot com website for lists regarding diversity, lists of colleges with most Asians, or percentage Asians...or other demographics, extra curricular activities, majors, etc.
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  • mamaedefamiliamamaedefamilia 3626 replies24 threads Senior Member
    @midofnowhere Sounds like you are getting great advice. If you can lock in a financial safety early on, then there's no reason why you can't also try for some of these long-shot scholarships. Just keep your expectations reasonable. While your profile is impressive (congrats!), every other applicant for these scholarships will have similar accomplishments.

    WVU is a great addition to your list. You might also see what kind of merit might be forthcoming from U Delaware. If you are interested in western schools, look at UT Dallas (where you might qualify for full tuition) and Arizona State, which offers merit for stats and has a very highly regarded Honors College.

    I agree with those upthread who suggested that you remove U Chicago, USC, and Amherst from your list, they are unlikely to be affordable.

    @midofnowhere One thing I wanted to mention is that if your family owns significant land, like a farm or a ranch, that may affect the accuracy of the NPC results, as might self-employment.

    Best of luck to you!
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  • jym626jym626 57006 replies2990 threads Senior Member
    Tulane is working to increase diversity (it is less than 5% Asian). Rice is already 24% Asian. You will likely be considered an ORM there.
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  • jym626jym626 57006 replies2990 threads Senior Member
    edited September 2019
    Does UMD- BC give merit $?
    edited September 2019
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30026 replies59 threads Senior Member
    Yes UMBC does give merit. It can be very generous but OP does not care for it.
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  • midofnowheremidofnowhere 27 replies1 threads Junior Member
    @mommdc I understand, and am genuinely appreciative of all of the advice I’m getting from everyone here!

    @mamaedefamilia Delaware and UT Dallas look promising. USC offers merit scholarships which is why I kept it on my list but I will reconsider as its near the lower end of my list. My family does not own land/a farm.

    @jym626 While I understand that Tulane is attempting to remedy their diversity dilemma, I really don’t want to be in that sort of environment. After 17 years, I’m ready for a significant change!
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  • jym626jym626 57006 replies2990 threads Senior Member
    edited September 2019
    @midofnowhere - Tulane is still around 30% non-Caucasian. If you are chasing scholarship and/or merit money, it might be a good idea to keep an open mind about that. Understand you have been a minority where you are, but you won't be such a minority in college.

    I have 3 nephews who thrived and UMBC and the 2 who pursued grad school have also done well. One was a Fulbright scholar
    edited September 2019
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  • jym626jym626 57006 replies2990 threads Senior Member
    The FAFSA becomes available Oct. 1 Complete it with your parents and get an idea of what you qualify for. Are either of your other sibs who you mentioned applied to UMD- CP still in college?
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  • mamag2855mamag2855 816 replies2 threads Member
    It may have already been mentioned, but University of South Carolina might be a good option for possible merit aid.
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  • gpo613gpo613 360 replies23 threads Member
    Check out Miami University OH. You should be able to get under $20K there.
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  • midofnowheremidofnowhere 27 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Hi! Just wanted to post an update; I was admitted to Pitt with a 25k/year scholarship and UChicago EA (still working out finances).

    As of now, Pitt is at the top of my list, but I’ll have to wait till March/April to make my decision.

    Thanks to those who commented! :)
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30026 replies59 threads Senior Member
    Congratulations! $25k for Pitt can go a long way. Cheap housing available off campus for upper class man years

    Good luck in negotiating something with Chicago that is workable.
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  • mommdcmommdc 11862 replies31 threads Senior Member
    Congratulations on the great merit award at Pitt, that should fit into your budget now!
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  • midofnowheremidofnowhere 27 replies1 threads Junior Member
    To anyone interested for future reference - I've been accepted to every school that I've applied to so far!

    In order: Pitt - Honors (25k/year),
    Fordham (half tuition ~40k/year),
    UChicago (20k/year, 5k/2 summers),
    UMD - Honors,
    Vanderbilt (potential Chancellor invite)

    I was a semifinalist for the Jefferson Scholar, but ultimately was not selected to attend the weekend (MD is rough!), and I was not accepted into the Robertson Scholars program.
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