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BU meeting full need??

thumper1thumper1 76464 replies3379 threads Senior Member
I saw this on the Boston University website and wondered if anyone had more details. It sounds like BU is meeting full need (as they calculate it to be) for all students!
BU meets your full need

Introducing affordableBU. Now, BU will meet 100% of the calculated financial need for admitted, first-year students who are US citizens or permanent residents. We’re offering expanded financial aid packages that will make up the difference between the cost of attendance and what you can afford.

This would be terrific!
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Replies to: BU meeting full need??

  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 3295 replies62 threads Senior Member
    This thread discussed some details:

    https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/boston-university/2167114-financial-aid-troubles-help-p1.html

    The appeal outcome was good for the original OP. But, someone else posted this:
    So, I want to close the loop about my experience with BU's appeal process. (Post #18) As originally stated, we were "gapped" $27k between their FA offer and the College Board online calculator. There was no error with the data input to the online calculator but the calculator does not closely align with their internal FA model used to generate FA offers.

    I was told explicitly by the FA office during the appeals process that their model of "meeting need" assumes the parents will pull equity from their home (if available) and NOT save for retirement if BU deems the parents have saved enough for retirement. Apparently, BU felt that both of the assets described applied to us and hence generated an extra $27k in expected family contribution.

    During the appeals process we explained that we have an autistic child and do not know the financial burden it may place upon us ten years forward and would not be able to access home equity or not avail ourselves of retirement savings. BU denied our appeal.

    FYI, I currently have two children in private schools that meet demonstrated need. Both children have FA offers resulting in a family contribution of about $32k.

    So BU's institutional need formula seems to be more stringent than some other meet need schools.
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  • thumper1thumper1 76464 replies3379 threads Senior Member
    edited January 12
    http://www.bu.edu/articles/2019/bu-boosts-financial-aid/

    Here is the article from the BU magazine. I feel badly that the aid didn’t work out for the poster above...and that their appeal was denied based on the special circumstance of having a sibling with special needs. It appears this student was accepted ED...and applied based on what the NPC indicated they would receive. We don’t have all the details...so it’s hard to say why this happened.

    I’m wondering how this will play out for other applicants this year.

    @Mwfan1921 in the thread you noted, the OP actually had a successful financial aid appeal...and is heading to BU.

    The poster who highjacked the thread did not...and mentioned two things as issues...home equity and sufficient retirement savings. I’m going to say....many colleges use some to all of home equity. We have no way to know how much home equity this family actually had...and I do understand that the have a special needs child and they don’t feel they can tap home equity for college costs.

    I’ll be interested to see how this plays out for other students this year who receive need based aid from Boston University.
    edited January 12
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  • adlgeladlgel 810 replies34 threads Member
    edited January 13
    I find this statement by BU to be misleading "We’re offering expanded financial aid packages that will make up the difference between the cost of attendance and what you can afford."

    I believe it would be more accurate if it was worded as "We’re offering expanded financial aid packages that will make up the difference between the cost of attendance and what WE THINK you can afford."
    edited January 13
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  • BelknapPointBelknapPoint 4770 replies18 threads Senior Member
    I find this statement by BU to be misleading "We’re offering expanded financial aid packages that will make up the difference between the cost of attendance and what you can afford."

    I believe it would be more accurate if it was worded as "We’re offering expanded financial aid packages that will make up the difference between the cost of attendance and what WE THINK you can afford."

    This is true of every meets full need school. In no circumstance that I am aware of is the student or parents able to dictate what amount they can afford and voila, that figure becomes what the student pays.
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  • adlgeladlgel 810 replies34 threads Member
    I understand that all meets need schools determine what they think you can afford.

    But I was specifically reacting to BU’s wording of their announcement about their new approach to their financial aid program. It just feels like they are going out of their way to not be transparent about this. And again I understand they are certainly not the only university that communicates this way about need-based financial aid.

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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 80134 replies720 threads Senior Member
    edited January 13
    BU's net price calculator is here:
    https://www.bu.edu/finaid/aid-basics/cost-of-education/net-price-calculator/

    "Meet need" promises do not mean much when the college can define "need" however it wants. The college's net price calculator is generally a better way to estimate affordability, but accurate financial information needs to be known and used.
    edited January 13
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  • privateIDprivateID 298 replies32 threads Member
    I believe most (all?) meets-full-need schools define need as they see fit. I do believe one can have a good feel using NPCs and reading up on the schools (ie., whether they use home equity or not). To be honest, the two items mentioned for BU above - home equity and enough retirement savings - seem reasonable to throw into the equation. Just based on those two items, I wouldn't have a negative view of the school.
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