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Need and Merit

cpicc718cpicc718 3 replies4 threadsRegistered User New Member
Hello! I filled out FAFSA and got an email telling me that my estimated EFC is 30k. This is a bit more than I was hoping for (I want to pay closer to 20k). So say I get in to a school that meets 100% of my need and I get a merit scholarship, would my final price be less than 30k? I am applying to schools like Case Western and Northeastern that claim to meet 100% of financial need. They also have merit scholarships I would automatically be considered for, which I think I have a decent chance at getting. Would these schools meet my EFC and then deduct the value of the scholarship, if I receive one?

Also, how much are students realistically able to negotiate? Is it possible to negotiate 5k (or maybe even a little more) off your tuition?


Lastly, how good is Vanderbilt's need-based financial aid?

Thanks
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Replies to: Need and Merit

  • BelknapPointBelknapPoint 4477 replies16 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Generally speaking, merit aid received will increase your EFC when need-based aid is being calculated. More dollars (merit aid) in your pocket means you have a greater ability to pay college expenses, right?
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 2236 replies30 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited October 7
    None of these schools are likely to meet your FAFSA EFC, think of EFC as the minimum you will be required to pay.

    All of the schools you list require CSS Profile as well as FAFSA. Have you run the NPCs on all of them? What results are you getting?
    Would these schools meet my EFC and then deduct the value of the scholarship, if I receive one?

    AFAIK these schools do not stack aid, so if you are awarded a merit scholarship, whether internal or external, they will reduce your need based award, keeping the same net result.
    Also, how much are students realistically able to negotiate? Is it possible to negotiate 5k (or maybe even a little more) off your tuition?

    Some schools will meet fin aid package of peer schools. Absent that, there is typically limited to no 'negotiation'.


    Based on this and your other thread, it is vitally important that you apply to one safety school---and a safety has to be affordable to be considered a safety.
    edited October 7
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78226 replies690 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Some colleges will use merit scholarships to replace student loans and work first, before reducing grants. If it is not clear what the college does, contact it directly and ask.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29420 replies58 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I agree that you should have colleges on your list that are fully affordable and will definitely take you. Those schools are the crux of the college search. It is very possible that you are asked to pay more than the FAFSA EFC at any of the schools listed. Merit money tends to reduce financial aid. It may all work out, but having a solid safety school is good insurance
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  • coolguy40coolguy40 2181 replies3 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Financial aid isn't negotiable. The more prestigious the school, the less reason they have to offer you a scholarship. It's very common to get "short-changed" at the last minute from a private school, because there's always someone on the waitlist who's willing to pay it. It happens every year on this forum like clockwork.

    What you need to do is treat all private schools as a "reach" and assume that, even if you get in, there's a good chance you won't get the financial aid you expect. Apply to some good schools you know you can afford, and THOSE are the ones you expect to attend. If you get lucky with financial aid, you can consider a private school on your list. Otherwise you risk spending your first year at community college :)
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29420 replies58 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    coolguy40 wrote: »
    Financial aid isn't negotiable. The more prestigious the school, the less reason they have to offer you a scholarship. It's very common to get "short-changed" at the last minute from a private school, because there's always someone on the waitlist who's willing to pay it. It happens every year on this forum like clockwork.

    What you need to do is treat all private schools as a "reach" and assume that, even if you get in, there's a good chance you won't get the financial aid you expect. Apply to some good schools you know you can afford, and THOSE are the ones you expect to attend. If you get lucky with financial aid, you can consider a private school on your list. Otherwise you risk spending your first year at community college :)

    I agree with your second paragraph and a number of your sentiments, but not with the “short change” comment.

    For those with financial need, the best chance of getting fin aid, IF they can gain the admittance to such schools, is from schools that guarantee to meet need. Those tend to be the private schools. Only two state schools guarantee to meet full need for accepted US freshman during the regular admissions season.

    Even among those private schools, financial aid packages can vary widely. Some expect larger student contributions, some have self help, loans in aid packages. Some allow some stacking of merit money. Some ignore or limit home equity in the fin aid calculations.

    I would urge any student with a reasonable chance of getting into such schools to apply to the private schools that guarantee to meet full need, if they need financial aid and appear to qualify for it. Many of these students end up with a lower net cost at these schools than even their state schools.

    “Negotiate” is not a word FA Officers want to hear. However, they will discuss awards with students and parents, and it is not unheard of for them to revise packages in favor of the family. Sometimes a little extra merit can get added to a package through admissions too. But, you are right in stating that these are all up to chance, and not something to count on.

    Every student should have a school that will take them that is affordable without contingencies.

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  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids 84095 replies1025 threadsForum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Forum Champion
    Don’t most/all of those schools require CSS profile?

    Anyway, merit is applied first, and then need based aid.

    If you need to reduce your EFC, then apply to schools where your stats will get you such HUGE merit that it will cover all of your need AND cut into your EFC
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  • thumper1thumper1 74776 replies3277 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Case, Northeastern and Vandy all require the CSS Profile in addition to the FAFSA.

    If your FAFSA EFC is $30,000, it’s highly likely all of these schools will be expecting you to pay at least $30,000 a year.

    I don’t believe Case guarantees to meet full need for all accepted students. Vandy and Northeastern do.

    Do their net price calculators.
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